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FAO shares with everyone knowledge and assets from the course on forest transparency

This week, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) publicly released a wealth of learning materials about forest monitoring under the Paris Agreement. By meeting the needs of many professionals to learn at their own pace, this initiative will increase awareness about the key role played by forests to achieve international climate goals.   


Forests act as carbon sinks, by removing greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere, and thus they play an important role in meeting climate change mitigation goals. The Paris Agreement aims to limit global temperature rise to less than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. The Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) was established to build trust that all countries are working towards this goal, as it provides countries with clear guidance on reporting.   


FAO delivered three editions of the multilingual massive open online course (MOOC) “Forests and Transparency under the Paris Agreement,” in collaboration with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to define the connections between the ETF of the Paris Agreement and the collection, analysis and dissemination of reliable and transparent forest information.   


Now, for the first time ever, the knowledge and multilingual assets developed for the MOOC are available to anyone, anywhere and at any time on the FAO elearning Academy.   


The first three editions of the MOOC were delivered over three-week intervals between November 2020 and October 2021. Offered simultaneously in English, Spanish and French, the MOOCs were developed under the project “Building Global Capacity to Increase Transparency in the Forest sector (CBIT-Forest),” funded by the Capacity-Building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) trust fund of the Global Environment Facility (GEF).   


These first editions of the course introduced participants to the concepts of the ETF, national forest monitoring systems (NFMS) and forest data for the ETF. Each edition of the MOOC was organized into four modules—an interactive online lesson, supporting materials, a live forum and finally a short quiz. The live forum module was structured as two live webinars, during which participants were able to interact with experts in the forestry, land use and climate change fields, from all over the world. In addition to all other related materials, recordings of these webinars will be included in this open-access version named "Sharing the Experience of the multilingual MOOC on Forests and Transparency under the Paris Agreement."  


The MOOC was designed to enable participants to: 

  • Recognize the role and importance of forests in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement;   
  • Identify the progressive changes and the level of responsibility required to move from the current measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) framework to the enhanced transparency framework, under the Paris Agreement;   
  • Better understand the foundation and concept of a National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS), including its main principles and elements;   
  • Learn how open and transparent forest-related data can support countries’ activities of reporting under the enhanced transparency framework; 

The first three editions of the MOOC engaged a large, diverse group of participants. Nearly 2000 forest and climate change professionals and students were trained through these editions of the MOOC. In its new and open format on the FAO elearning Academy, the course will continue to strengthen the capacities of new cohorts of professionals on how the information needed to maintain sustainable NFMS is crucial to supporting countries in meeting their ETF reporting requirements.   


Deforestation, driven by agriculture and other inappropriate land use changes, continues to threaten forests around the globe. As such, a widespread understanding of using forest monitoring to meet international climate goals is needed, now more than ever before.   


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