FAO: Next Global Forest Resources Assessment to Include Global Remote Sensing Survey of Forests

Spotlight on forest monitoring. Photo credit, UN

16 July 2008: The

Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has announced that the 2010

Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA 2010) will include a remote sensing

survey, which will document trends in the rate of deforestation, afforestation

and natural forest expansion over the last three decades; provide easy access

to remote sensing imagery; create a methodology and framework for monitoring of

forest change; and enhance countries' capacities to monitor, assess and report

on changes in forest cover.

Jan Heino, FAO

Assistant Director-General for Forestry, said “the need to improve national

forest monitoring is overwhelming as the demand for information has never been

greater.” He added that “national policy processes are striving to address

cross-cutting issues such as poverty alleviation and food security related to

forests.” Deforestation continues at an alarming rate of about 13 million

hectares annually at the global level. By combining remote sensing technology

with field data collection, we improve the quality of both methods. This

provides more accurate information on forest trends and new information on the

drivers of deforestation and forest degradation,” concluded Heino. [FAO Press