Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

GEO-Global Forest Observation Initiative Advisory Group Chair - SD0604

The Global Forest Observation Initiative (GFOI) exists under the Group on Earth Observations (GEO). GFOI exists to foster the sustained availability of observations for national forest monitoring systems and assist countries to make the best use of these observations. Publication of Version 1 of the GFOI Methods and Guidance Document (MGD) in February 2014 consolidated a substantial advancement in meeting this aim.

The MGD works with Decisions of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties and methodologies from the International Panel on Climate Change to provide advice countries on the use of remotely sensed and ground based data in the monitoring of deforestation, forest degradation and associated activities (known as REDD+). The MGD was one of the achievements highlighted at the tenth plenary of GEO, and UK played a key role in delivering it through DEFRA’s support of the work of Jim Penman in chairing the MGD Advisory Group and leading the authorship. Defra’s support is acknowledged at the front of the MGD. The MGD can be accessed at .
Work required:

This is a developing field, both scientifically and politically. The aim is to produce Version 2 of the MGD, probably towards the end of 2015 to allow experience to accumulate with version 1, and so the we can develop a series of modules covering issues that we already know would be useful to incorporate. These include :
a) Development of electronic resources training materials corresponding to the MGD
b) Development of more examples
c) Introduce statistical inference in the estimation of carbon densities, similar to the approach taken in the MGD for forest area and area change estimation
d) Include scientific updates, e.g. to cover the work by University of Maryland on global mapping of forest area and area change
e) Incorporate relevant developments in the climate negotiations, or near-negotiation processes such as UN-REDD and the World Bank FCPF
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2014

To: 2016

Cost: £24,525
Contractor / Funded Organisations
James Michael Penman
Environmental policy