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Twelve land-use professionals from the Solomon Islands gathered 21-22 May in Honiara to take part in a UN-REDD Programme technical geographic information systems (GIS) training aimed at strengthening the country’s REDD+ readiness capacity to run national forest inventories and develop a national forest monitoring system.

The training was led by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) through the UN-REDD Programme and is part of a series of capacity-building sessions under the project Strengthening Regional Support to National Forest Monitoring Systems for REDD+ in the Pacific that began in May 2014.

The event was attended by Solomon Islands’ government officials from the Ministry of Forestry and Research, Ministry of Lands and Agriculture and Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

The training introduced participants to QGIS 2.8, an alternative open source GIS software for viewing, editing and managing spatial data in a wide variety of commonly used vector and raster formats. Extensive group work encouraged the participants to discuss their understanding of GIS, and to appreciate how QGIS could be used for spatial analysis, area measurements, field sampling, editing, data creating and spatial simulations. One exercise demonstrated how to compare national forest inventory plot data with GIS coverages of elevation. Participants then used the relationship defined between topography and forest characteristics to improve spatial carbon estimation procedures.

The Strengthening Regional Support to National Forest Monitoring Systems for REDD+ in the Pacific project aims to strengthen technical support on forest monitoring and forest inventories in small island developing states. Capacity building activities are being delivered through the Secretariat of the Pacific Community with technical and financial support from FAO through the UN-REDD Programme. This support includes a range of national forest inventory and remote sensing/forest monitoring training events, as well as the development of a regional forest monitoring web portal.

For more information, please contact Andrew Haywood, Project Officer () or Julian Fox, Forestry Officer, Rome ().


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