The assessment of the status of the world forest resources and their changes over time can only be done through the collection of field data, which is not widely collected in developing countries, and it is generally not shared. Remote sensing is improving knowledge on the extent and spatial distribution of forests, but information on their health status and characteristics is very limited.
FAO, with the support of the International Climate Initiative of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) of Germany, is implementing the Global Forest Survey (GFS) project. The Global Forest Survey aims to produce freely available and comparable forest data on forest ecosystems characteristics and health status at regional level, independently of country borders.
This platform will help stakeholders, policy makers and scientific communities to address the upcoming challenges in forest resources management and related climate change mitigation. To do so, the GFS aims to develop a global network of permanent sample plots, and then produce a geo-referenced global estimate of forest carbona and forest health. Measurement protocols to support analysis of forest properties will be established.
All the data collected by the GFS will be freely available, accessible and downloadable through a web-based GIS-enabled portal that will also provide open source tools for data analysis. The GFS will be using the Open Foris methodology to conduct its global assessment.