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National Forest Inventories are a very important pillar for national forest monitoring systems. They provide basic data on the carbon stocks of forests and trees, as well as providing reliable data for measurement of uncertainties related to deforestation and forest degradation.

From July 25 to 27 2017, experts from ten countries in the Amazon and Mesoamerican regions met in the Amazonian city of Manaus, Brazil to share their best practices and progress in developing  National Forest Inventories. The event was organized by the Brazilian Forest Service in close collaboration with FAO through the UN-REDD Programme, and the Tropical Agriculture Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), through the Project “Mechanisms and Networks for Technology Transfer Related to Climate Change in Latin America and the Caribbean”.

Insights were also shared by participants from the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO), the Virtual Center of Excellence for Forest Monitoring, a South-South cooperation initiative based on the climate change action plan of the Mesoamerican Strategy for Environmental Sustainability, and the European National Forest Inventory Network (ENFIN).

The event also was a good setting for the global launch of the Voluntary Guidelines on National Forest Monitoring by David Morales, Forestry Officer from FAO. These guidelines were developed based on good practices and lessons learned during the construction of national forest monitoring systems from FAO member countries, and contributions from institutional partners and stakeholders.

Carla Ramirez, FAO regional expert on National Forest Inventories and REDD+, pointed out that one of the most important results of this event was the development of a joint agenda for the harmonization of the main criteria for measuring forests, as well as the construction of a network of experts for technology transfer and knowledge. This agenda will create a platform for South-South exchange among Amazonian and Mesoamerican countries to find solutions to common problems in collecting, quality control, analysis and interpretation of data on forests. In the medium term, this agenda will facilitates a better comparability of international reports, such as REDD+ and the national determined contributions (NDC) from the agriculture, forest and land-use change sector. Similar experiences were developed by the European National Forest Inventory Network, which has improved the understanding and comparability of terms, definitions and methods to compile the main variables to be measured by the member countries.

The UN-REDD Programme acknowledges the Brazilian Forestry Service for the hospitality and all the logistics during the event, also the joint cooperation with CATIE, and the participation of countries from Amazonia: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Suriname, and Venezuela; and from Mesoamerica: Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras.

Brazil photo

Brazilian measurement demonstration of National Forest Inventories. Photo by Carla Ramirez.


Additional information, interviews and a recording of the event, can be found at the Virtual Center of Excellence in Forest Monitoring, with support from the National Forest Commission of Mexico (CONAFOR):

See also social media -


For more information please contact:

Joberto Veloso de Freitas This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Carla Ramirez, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mario Chacon, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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