Around 70 experts from over 25 countries, international organizations, processes, academia and non-governmental organizations are meeting at the FAO Global Forest Resource Assessment (FRA) 2020 Expert Consultation from 12-16.6.2017 in Joensuu, Finland.
FAO has been monitoring the world’s forests at 5 to 10 year intervals since 1946 and FRA is now produced every five years. To support decision-makers in improving the sustainable management of forests, FRA provides consistent, up-to-date and accurate data on the world’s forests and how they are changing, thus informing the global community on forests’ contribution to mitigating climate change and the achievement of many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This Expert Consultation will provide recommendations on the scope of the next global assessment and will agree on standards to ensure increased consistency and accuracy of reporting across countries, organizations and processes.
FRA is continuously evolving as needs change, new and better data become available, and new methods and technologies are developed. Due to significant advances in the international forest policy arena, such as the Paris Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the United Nations Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030 (UNSPF), FRA needs to adapt to respond to changing information needs, both in terms of scope and reporting periods. At the same time, FRA is tasked with working to improve and streamline global reporting on forests, with the aim of identifying synergies and reducing the reporting burden on countries. On a yearly basis, FRA feeds into the SDG process by supplying data on two forestry targets under Goal 15.
FRA has received technical guidance and support from international specialists through Expert Consultations held at regular intervals over the last 30 years. The first consultation on global forest resources assessments took place in Kotka, Finland, in 1987, where also subsequent consultations took place in 1993, 1996, 2002 and 2006 (Kotka I-V). These meetings were organized by FAO and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and with the support of the Government of Finland.
The FRA 2020 Expert Consultation is financially supported by the European Union, FAO, the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and is organized in collaboration with the Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE).