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NFMS launch event

Improved forest monitoring systems, a critical measure on the road to implementing REDD+, have advanced significantly in Sri Lanka with the launch of an online geoportal that will help the country move close to achieving its development and mitigation targets.

The geoportal is connected with Sri Lanka’s National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS) and will contribute to achieving the country’s ambitious forestry development agenda and its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).

Several Sri Lankan government agencies collaborated FAO and other agencies participating in the UN-REDD Programme, an initiative aimed at helping developing countries in Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+).

The online geoportal pulls together forest-related data, analysis, and information dissemination, and was launched in February with the aim of helping to reduce threats to Sri Lanka’s forests and contribute to their preservation. 

Credible monitoring systems that measure, report and verify data concerning the condition of the country’s forests is critical to that work, officials said. Their country’s national strategy aims to enhance the role that Sri Lanka’s forests play in mitigating the adverse effects caused by increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 

That inventory is a tool for reporting pollutants generated by human activities, which can be linked to forest-related GHG emissions, and reported to the UNFCCC Secretariat.

02 - Conservator General of Forests Anura Sathurusinghe“We now have an acceptable method to monitor the forests in Sri Lanka, as we work towards increasing Sri Lanka’s forest cover according to the Vana Ropa programme of the Government of Sri Lanka,” said Conservator General of Forests Anura Sathurusinghe (pictured left).

Monitoring, reporting and verification of forest information must be based on reliable data that is analyzed according to approved standards. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) considers an NFMS essential for countries implementing REDD+.

When Sri Lanka begins to implement its REDD+ strategy, the country could be eligible to receive funding from donor countries and institutions to increase its forest cover in response to the threat of global warming and climate change.

The country’s new geoportal brings together information from the Satellite Land Monitoring Systems, which collects and assesses activity data related to forest areas; the National Forest Inventory (NFI), with information relevant for estimating emissions factors such as forest carbon stock changes; and greenhouse gas inventory data.

Sri Lanka’s Forest Department, the Department of Wildlife Conservation, Survey Department, Climate Change Secretariat, Central Environment Authority and the Natural Resource Management Centre came together as part of a national task force formed to serve and offer technical advice and expertise on the development of this portal.   

The online portal, which includes a wide variety of maps, satellite imagery, and information on a range of protected areas, is designed to be accessible to the public, meeting demands for information that is transparent as well as consistent.

Link to the geoportal:


Photos by Thilal Nanayakkara.

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