FAO Launches New Tool for Reporting on World’s Forests
UN Photo/Eva Fendiaspara
story highlights

FAO has launched a new online platform for reporting on the status and trends of the world's forest resources, building on their partnership with Google.

The platform enables countries to increase the efficiency of their reporting processes on forest cover and land-use change, which is essential for monitoring progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The platform uses Google Earth Engine to provide national forest authorities free access to global data repositories and analytical tools.

5 March 2018: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has launched a new online platform for reporting on the status and trends of the world’s forest resources, building on their partnership with Google. The platform enables countries to increase the efficiency of their reporting processes on forest cover and land-use change, which is essential for monitoring progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Developed by FAO with financial support from the EU and the Government of Finland, the platform uses Google Earth Engine to provide national forest authorities free access to global data repositories and analytical tools. It contains a number of new features, including improved data entry and data visualization, and review and analysis functions. The platform has a more user-friendly interface, which allows adding data, copying and pasting from existing entry sheets and documenting national data sources. It makes it easy even for people without prior remote-sensing experience to access satellite imagery and other geospatial data to monitor national forest cover and land-use changes over time.

FAO Senior Forestry Officer Anssi Pekkarinen highlighted that assessments of the state of the world’s global forest resources require consistent and reliable data, and indicated that the platform allows countries “to improve their capacity to compile up-to-date and precise forest data, reduces reporting burden, and allows to better measure progress towards the 2030 Agenda.”

Rebecca Moore, Director, Google Earth, Earth Engine & Earth Outreach, stated that the platform is the outcome from a three year partnership with FAO that was signed at COP 21 in Paris, and added that Google Earth is “excited to enable all countries with equal access to the latest technology in support of global climate action and sustainable development.”

The platform will be used for the next 2020 Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) report, a global assessment led by FAO that traces the evolution of forests, forest management, and uses. A global technical meeting of FRA National Correspondents from more than 100 countries and territories, held from 5-9 March 2018, in Toluca, Mexico, served as the opportunity to launch the new platform, as well as train participants in how to use it.

The FRA celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. It is produced every five years through an inclusive and country-driven process, and it is the most comprehensive analysis of the world’s forest resources and their changes to date. [FAO Press Release] [FRA Webpage]


related events


related posts