Ecuador Hosts First Regional Workshop on National Forest Monitoring Systems
Forest specialists meet in Ecuador to discuss National Forest Monitoring Systems in Latin America.
Ecuador hosted the first Regional Workshop on National Forest Monitoring Systems (NFMS) for REDD+ in Latin America, from 23-26 April 2013, convening over 11 countries from the region, as well as members from international organizations who shared information and experiences on NFMS implementation.
Participants at the first Regional Workshop on National Forest Monitoring Systems for REDD+ in Latin America held in Ecuador in April
Countries shared their lessons learned and achievements on topics related to national forest inventories and forest monitoring using satellite imagery (both key elements for an effective NFMS) as well as biodiversity and socioeconomic aspects of REDD+. Participants also highlighted available web platforms to disseminate information on forest monitoring that will help countries reach one of the key requirements agreed within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: the transparency of all NFMS. Ecuador shared its specific experience in managing its national greenhouse gases (GHG) inventory system to gain full understanding on NFMS as well.
The FAO representative in Ecuador, Pedro Pablo Peña, highlighted the importance this meeting has for the region, especially for Ecuadorians, representing a step further in exchanging information on NFMS development in the region. “The meeting allowed us to gain understanding of about the status of REDD+ implementation and in the development of monitoring systems in other countries,” said Peña. He added that “this will help us identify common needs and specific gaps that need to be addressed by countries in relation to forestry monitoring and REDD+.”
When referring to the need of strengthening the capacities of countries to develop robust and transparent NFMS, some country representatives stressed the importance of deepening their knowledge of forest degradation monitoring, imagery processing methods from new remote sensing techniques and new methods for mapping and especially the need to institutionalize national units for forest monitoring.
Participants also requested support for the analysis and processing of data from National Forestry Institutes, the strengthening of capacities for the development of allometric models and for the development and implementation of data management platforms.
Another important topic highlighted by several participating countries was the need to focus more on safeguard information systems (social and environmental) since this subject is quite unknown at the regional level.
According to Daniel Segura, Coordinator of the National Forestry Evaluation Project from the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador, “many countries are working very hard to improve their forestry management, however, each country will need to find its own rhythm and take into account its own national circumstances.”
The information gathered will be very useful in planning future capacity building activities (both national and regional) that respond to both real and concrete activities. A second edition of this workshop is being planned for 2014.
This event was organized by FAO within the UN-REDD Programme and in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador, UNEP-WCMC and UNDP Ecuador.
Read the recently updated UN-REDD publication: National Forest Monitoring Systems: Monitoring and Measurement, Reporting and Verification (M & MRV) in the context of REDD+ Activities.