National Forest Monitoring

FAO at the frontline in monitoring forests and ecosystems

Faced with a climate emergency, countries are stepping up their actions to keep the rise in global average temperatures to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels- a goal outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement. Halting deforestation and forest degradation and restoring degraded ecosystems are key nature-based solutions to climate change. Forest-positive policies and actions also have many non-carbon benefits, including food security, poverty alleviation, health, enhanced biodiversity, improved governance and the protection of other vital environmental services.

The drivers of deforestation and forest degradation are numerous, but innovative technology and increased capacity are making a positive difference in tracking land use and forest cover change. National forest monitoring generates transparent and accurate information on the status and trends of countries' forests and land cover, which is fundamental to achieving global climate goals and for countries to make informed decisions in relation to the protection and sustainable management of forest resources. FAO’s work on national forest monitoring is driven by innovation, capacity development, and partnership.

Forest data for people and climate

Ecosystem restoration monitoring 

Monitoring progress plays a crucial role in the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2020-2030), and to fill this need, FAO has developed the Framework for Ecosystem Restoration Monitoring (FERM). Through this framework, indicators of restoration in key ecosystems can be monitored and reported to measure progress during the UN Decade. Building on the progress made and lessons learned from decades of working alongside countries to develop robust National Forest Monitoring Systems, the FERM represents a critical step forward in the monitoring of ecosystem restoration efforts.

Hand-in-hand with innovation in forest monitoring

FAO’s new Hand-in-Hand Initiative is a unique opportunity through which partners across the various sectors can work together to end poverty and hunger and build prosperity in developing countries. Innovative forest monitoring platforms developed by FAO are directly integrated into the initiative, which provides a clear way to mobilize technical expertise across the organisation and its partners, in order to build the kind of environment required to transform systems and lives in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Human rights-based approaches to NFMS

FAO strives to ensure that its forest monitoring support to countries is delivered in a manner that is sensitive to local conflicts and protects human rights. FAO implements projects that aim to conduct a national-scale forest inventory, including in areas with security and conflict issues. The projects provide insights into how to bolster sustainable forests in other fragile countries affected by conflicts that are frequently exacerbated by disputes over tenure and access to natural resources.



  • Nicfi
  • Federal
  • Prime
  • GFOI
  • FCPF
  • GEF
  • MAFF
  • BioCarbonFund
  • CAFI