Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010: key findings
On 25 March, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) published the key findings of the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010 (FRA 2010), concluding that world deforestation, mainly the conversion of tropical forests to agricultural land, has decreased over the past ten years but continues at an alarmingly high rate in many countries. FRA 2010 is the most comprehensive assessment of forests and forestry to date - not only in terms of the number of countries and people involved - but also in terms of scope. It examines the current status and recent trends for about 90 variables covering the extent, condition, uses and values of forests and other wooded land, with the aim of assessing all benefits from forest resources.
JRC’s work on tropical forest cover monitoring constitutes a major support to this undertaking. Being a main partner of FAO's FRA 2010 Remote Sensing Survey (RSS), JRC scientists collaborate with remote sensing and forestry experts from Tropical and European countries in order to estimate forest cover changes for the time period 1990-2000-2010. In this context, the JRC Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) organised several workshops for experts from Central and West Africa as well as from continental Southeast Asia.
The output of the workshops will feed into the JRC's pan-tropical forest cover change assessment and will ultimately be used in the context of the FRA-2010 RSS global assessment.
The workshop ("Atelier Régional COMIFAC") entitled "Suivi des stocks et flux de carbone dans le Bassin du Congo " was held in Brazzaville (République du Congo) on 1-5 February. It was jointly organised by COMIFAC, FAO, OFAC, CIFOR, OSFAC, WRI, WWF, JRC and WCS. Some 130 participants from Central African countries and experts from around the world attended. The results of the meeting are posted on the OFAC web site. A side meeting was held by FAO, JRC and UCL in connection with this workshop to train 16 participants from 7 Central African countries on the land-use analysis methods for the FRA 2010 Remote Sensing Survey.
The regional workshop for validating the processed data of forest cover sssessment for sample sites in continental Southeast Asia was organised by JRC-IES in collaboration with FAO and AIT/UNEP during the first two weeks of February. The workshop training, with participants from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam, focused on the validation tools developed by JRC and validation work on the sample sites in each country by respective country representatives (see UNEP newsletters).
A similar workshop for validating the land cover for sample sites in West Africa was organised in March by JRC-IES in collaboration with the “Laboratoire d' Enseignement et de Recherche en Géomatique (LERG)” of the Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar-Sénégal, with participants from Senegal, Burkina Faso, Togo, Nigeria, Mali, Ghana, Benin, Mauritania, Guinée-Conakry, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger and Chad. The training focused on the validation tools developed by JRC and validation work on the sample sites in each country.