FAO in Uganda

Boosting transparency of forest data in Uganda


FAO offers technical support to the countries to improve the quality and the transparency of forest data through the support in the implementation of National Forest Monitoring (NFM) Systems. “Building global capacity to increase transparency in the forest sector (CBIT-Forest)” is an FAO project to strengthen the institutional and technical capacities of developing countries on forest-related data collection, analysis, and dissemination. Key global outputs of the CBIT-Forest project include:

  • Organizing workshops across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and the Caribbean to build the country and subregional capacities in the forest sector.
  • Upgrading the reporting and dissemination platform of the FAO’s Forest Global Resources Assessment (FRA) that allows more transparent reporting and easier access;
  • Developing training and knowledge material, including the e-learning course on forests and transparency and a tool to assess need and gaps of the NFMS; and
  • Raising awareness through communication materials on transparency to highlight the importance of data collection, analysis, and dissemination for transparency in the forest sector.

The project will directly benefit 26 targeted countries and more broadly some 187 countries and territories that are part of the global network of National Correspondents for the Global Forest Resources Assessment. In Africa, Uganda and Cote d’Ivoire have been identified as a pilot countries to enhanced their NFMS.  


When a project such is applied on a global scale and in different countries, it is always necessary to understand the ground reality and, in the case of the forest transparency the implementation status of the NFM Systems. This analysis is normally very complex and requires months to be achieved.


In the period 2017/2019 MWE and NFA technically supported by FAO implemented the FCPF project: ”Support to institutionalization of a National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS) for REDD+ in Uganda (UTF/UGA/O52/UGA)”in . The project helped on refine and better define the NFMS in country, the institutional roles and responsibilities, the finalization of the National Forest Inventory, the elaboration of maps of Land Use and Land Covers and change detection statistics  within years, fisrt estimation of soil organic carbon losses, and national and international reports of the emissions.  


In this frame, the first step of the CBIT-Forest project developed and tested with Uganda the an assessment tool which diagnostic tool to facilitate the comprehension of the implementation status of the NFMS.

The NFMS tool appears like a simple questionnaire, user friendly for insiders, where the countries through an evaluation of the different components can immediately give a realistic picture of what is happening in the country in each principal component:

  • the institutional capacities to be organized to host and maintain a National Forest Monitoring System capable to provide reliable and transparent;
  • the measurement and estimations available for the forest sector and the capacities to collect, analyze and store it;
  • the capacity to report the data analyzed at the international and national levels for multipkle purposes (e.g. Biennial Updated Reports, Forest Reference Levels, FRA etc).

After the compilation of the tool, facilitated by an FAO expert, the assessment was validated during a series of virtual workshops that were held between July and August. Experts from the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) and National Forest Authority (NFA) have carefully checked any validated the assessment and a fruitful dialogue help to identify the status of the NFMS.


As a main result, the NFMS assessment tool helped Uganda to find immediately the country's priorities for enhancing their NFMS. The action plan includes crucial areas, including data management plans, data-sharing agreements, data securitization and dissemination, and the evaluation of the impact and importance that the data dissemination can have in the country development plan in the forest sector.


More information:

Web page: http://www.fao.org/in-action/boosting-transparency-forest-data/en/

Flyer : http://www.fao.org/3/ca7424en/ca7424en.pdf

Poster: http://www.fao.org/3/ca9905en/ca9905en.pdf

NFMS assessment tool info note: http://www.fao.org/3/ca9903en/ca9903en.pdf

Quick guidance of the tool: http://www.fao.org/3/cb0988en/CB0988EN.pdf

NFMS from Uganda: http://uganda-nfms.org/