The role of the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) Office (hereafter Office) is to provide secretariat services to the initiative, its components, activities and partners. The Office also provides administrative support to the Leads Group, who assign day to day management responsibilities for the initiative to the Office. The Office is responsible for implementing the decisions and strategic vision of the Leads Group.

The Office is based within the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) but serves as an independent secretariat for all GFOI partners. The Office operates on funding provided by other GFOI lead partners, of whom are currently Norway and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Office conducts the following activities:

  • provides overall secretariat services and a focal point for the initiative and its activities;
  • provides administrative support to the Leads Group and day-to-day management on their behalf;
  • supports the operation of the four GFOI components in capacity building, data coordination, methods and guidance documentation (MGD) and research and development (R&D) coordination;
  • facilitates improved and expanded collaboration with new partners;
  • implements Country-Led Planning (CLP) activities in close cooperation with capacity-building partners;
  • manages the GFOI Family of Resources (GFoR) and associated content;
  • supports the joint implementation of priority activities with program management support, facilitation and some funding;
  • facilitates the participation of tropical countries and experts in GFOI activities as needed;
  • supports the initiative advisory groups administratively and with some funding;
  • manages the GFOI website on behalf of partners as a register of the GFOI's and partners' activities, and with this oversees the GFOI’s communications and knowledge management;
  • convenes meetings, teleconferences, workshops and other GFOI activities; and
  • provides other various services required to support the operations of the GFOI and the attainment of its objectives.