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Over 40 forest monitoring experts from Pacific Island Countries - Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga - , Indonesia and the Pacific Community (SPC) met in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, for a Pacific Regional Workshop on Forest Monitoring from 5 to 9 December 2017. The training was held at the newly opened National Forest Inventory Office at the Papua New Guinea Forest Authority headquarters.

 

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The workshop was hosted by The Government of Papua New Guinea, in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Financial support was provided by the European Union, the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and the UN-REDD Programme, as well as the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation for the component on System for Earth observation data access, Processing and Analysis for Land monitoring (SEPAL).

Over the four days, national experts shared National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS) achievements and challenges, and improved their knowledge of FAO forest monitoring tools, including Open Foris and SEPAL, through hands-on training, including a field demonstration of Open Foris tools in the Sogeri forest. In addition, participants developed their capacities on National Forest Inventory design, and learned more about the process of submitting Forest Reference Emission Levels, with Papua New Guinea sharing their practical experience and lessons learned. Participants then identified specific country needs for further capacity development, and drafted an actionand support plan to help guide upcoming work at a country level.

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Workshop Introduction by Dr. Ruth Turia, Director-Forest Policy and Planning, PNG Forest Authority. (Photo by Masamichi Haraguchi, FAO Papua New Guinea)

 

With experts from the region presenting technical tools and sharing examples of their experiences, the workshop was a successful example of effective South-South collaboration. For example, other countries were very interested in the lessons and learns in utilization of Open Foris tools in Papua New Guinea. In addition, the workshop helped establish a regional network of forest monitoring experts, which is an important resource for countries as they move forward in building and  improving their national forest monitoring systems. 

 

   
   

One of the participants, Ms. Akosita Waikere from Fiji considered SEPAL very useful to improve the issue of cloud cover in satellite imagery and asked if they can     also download the cloud free satellite mosaic. Erik Lindquist confirmed and stressed that SEPAL can process and prepare the best available satellite data which we could not even imagine in the past, by cloud processing.

       
   

                     

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SEPAL demonstration by Erik Lindquist, FAO. (Photo by Anna Tosiani, Indonesia)

 

Participants practicing the use of Open Foris tools in the Sogeri forest (Photos by Masamichi Haraguchi, FAO Papua New Guinea):

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Local press such as Post Courier reported on the event. (https://postcourier.com.pg/png-hosts-forest-meet/)

 

For more information, please contact Julian Fox, Team Leader National Forest Monitoring a.i., (), or Erik Lindquist, Forestry Officer, (), REDD+ / NFM Cluster, Forestry Department, FAO.

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