FAO Training Workshops in India and China Contribute to Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020
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The workshops are part of a series of regional and sub-regional training workshops bringing together FAO and national experts around the world to implement a global remote sensing survey.

The FRA 2020 assessment process was launched at a global workshop for the FRA network of National Correspondents, held from 5-9 March 2018 in Toluca, Mexico.

13 April 2019: Two training workshops in India and China have contributed to preparations for the 2020 Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA 2020) led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). The workshops are part of a series of nine regional and sub-regional training workshops bringing together FAO and national experts around the world to implement a global remote sensing survey.

Held in Xi’an, the China workshop was co-organized with China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration from 9-13 April 2019. China accounts for the fifth largest forest area and the largest increase in forest of any country over the past decade. The China survey is expected to make a major contribution to the global assessment.

The India workshop took place from 11-16 March 2019 in Dehradun, in partnership with the Forest Survey of India. It was attended by forest officers from around the country who participated in completing data collection for the country to feed into the global samples.

A key objective of the training workshops is to develop national capacities in data collection, using remote sensing tools specifically developed for this purpose. Data analysis will make use of Collect Earth Online, which is part of FAO’s Open Foris suite of tools developed by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and FAO with support from Google to help countries and institutions to implement multi-purpose forest inventories.

The FRA 2020 assessment process was launched at a global workshop for the FRA network of National Correspondents, held from 5-9 March 2018 in Toluca, Mexico. In addition to unveiling the new online reporting, review and analysis platform, the meeting provided an overview of key reporting elements, including the remote sensing component, and how to link the FRA process to national reporting on SDG indicators.

To enhance country ownership of the FRA data collection process, FAO established a global network of officially nominated National Correspondents in 2005. Correspondents help to bring together knowledge of forest resources in their countries with data from remote sensing and other sources, enabling FAO to generate locally relevant recommendations for governments, civil society and the private sector. The FRA process also plays a central part in monitoring progress towards SDG 15 (life on land) as it is used to collect information and report on the indicators on forest area change and on area of forest under sustainable management.

During their interactions, workshop participants identified capacity gaps at various levels that could be addressed as part of the FRA 2020 implementation phase. One area of support highlighted was how to leverage FAO’s ongoing partnership with Google to make cloud computing software more accessible to forest stakeholders.

FAO has been involved in global forest monitoring since 1946. In recent decades, FRAs have taken place at five-yearly intervals to ensure a consistent approach and provide better insights on how forests are changing. The assessment scope has also evolved, from a focus on timber inventories to more holistic assessments that seek to respond to increasing information needs related to all aspects of sustainable forest management (SFM). [FAO Press Release on China Technical Workshop] [FAO Press Release on India Technical Workshop] [FRA Website] [Publication: Proceedings of the FRA 2020 Launch] [Publication: FRA 2020 Terms and Definitions] [Publication: FRA 2020 Guidelines and Specifications] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Launch of Latest FAO Forest Reporting Platform]


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