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GOFC-GOLD to support FRA 2010

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) regularely undertakes an assessment of the global forest resources, every five to ten years. For the year 2010, FAO and the Forest Resources Assessment for 2010 (FRA2010) anticipates more detailed and transparent global forest information using remote sensing technology. A Systematic global sample (10x10 km) for more than 10.000 locations and a centralized assessment of forest cover and characteristics is planned including additional thematic layers like fire. The results of this Remote Sensing Survey (RSS) will complement the traditional information collection (based on country statistics).

GOFC-GOLD has been invited to participate in the FRA2010. The activities are directly linked to the GEO workplan and 2006 tasks on global forest assessment using EO data and standard methods (AG-06-04) and development of community of practice for forest observations (US-06-02). The GOFC-GOLD contribution includes

  • Advocacy role for land cover/forest and fire observations from space
  • "Global forest change and assessment framework" from GOFC-GOLD to assist FRA
  • Assist with sampling procedure (global hot spots)
  • Provide raw input datasets and consensus image analysis methods
  • Need for Radar data for sampling locations with permanent cloud cover

The FRA KOTKA V meeting in June 2006 recommended that a remote sensing component aimed at providing complementary information on the spatial distribution of forests and on forest and land cover and land use change dynamics at the regional and global level should be included as part of FRA 2010. Further technical meetings were held to develop the technical specifications of the remote sensing component and on the role of potential partners.

In March 2008, the FAO Forest Resource Assessment Kick-off meeting took place from 5-7 March at FAO in Rome, Italy Representatives from 20 countries and the involved partners attended the meeting, where FRA 2010 was officially launched.

Several LC-IT members attended the meeting. A presentation was given on GEO and GOFC-GOLD in the plenary. A specific task force met during this week to define technical details and launch the pilot phase. Currently 20 large countries are involved in the pilot activity to consolidate the methodology. GOFC-GOLD is involved through several LC-IT members and to give technical advise, in particular on validation issues.

Further Information:

FAO FRA 2010 Webpage: http://www.fao.org/forestry/44375/en/

Methodology of the Remote Sensing Survey (RSS): http://www.fao.org/forestry/fra2010-remotesensing/en/

FRA-SAR 2010: http://www.frasar2010.uni-jena.de/

GOFC-GOLD Newsletter: No. 14, No. 17

FAO FRA2010 Newsletter: http://www.fao.org/forestry/52398/en/