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About Us

(Printable Version)

Introduction:
There is increasing recognition in Canada, the United States, and Mexico that forest ecosystem inventory and monitoring is vital to the successful implementation of sustainable forest management. Reliable basic environmental information is needed for formulating effective land use and conservation policy; valuation of forest services and benefits; planning management activities; effectively implementing those activities; and following the results over time, to confirm the sustainability of present practices or to guide modification of activities toward a more sustainable state. This information directly supports reporting and assessing the status of criteria and indicators of sustainability and serves as a knowledge base for supporting research and development.

The three countries confirmed that the best approach to addressing common resource inventory, monitoring and assessment issues was to utilize a North American Forestry Commission (NAFC). NAFC supports research and natural resource management activities through Study Groups that explore issues of concern to the three countries. The first meeting of the North American Forestry Commission (NAFC) Study Group on Forest Inventory and Monitoring was held January 11-13 2000 at the World Trade Center in Portland, Oregon, USA. The objective of this group is to specifically explore opportunities to improve strategic inventory and monitoring at the North American scale by developing a better understanding of each country’s current programs and future plans.

All three countries are currently revising their approaches to national scale forest inventory and an NAFC Study Group aimed sharing research and information and taking advantage of opportunities for collaboration and scientific exchange on forest inventory, monitoring, and assessment could make a significant contribution. This Study Group would, identify and take advantage of opportunities for increasing scientific and technical collaboration, foster compatible approaches to forest inventory, monitoring and assessment among the three countries, evaluate remote sensing and other technologies to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of forest inventory, monitoring, and assessment, sponsor and facilitate exchanges to build capacity and increase our understanding of different approaches to forest inventory, monitoring, and assessment, and foster communication with other NAFC study groups.

Membership in the Study Group consists of up to four representatives from each country, to be appointed by the respective NAFC organizational bodies. Meetings may also include additional invitees as deemed appropriate by the permanent members. Next year’s meeting will be hosted by Canada in late January in British Columbia with a general theme of collaboration on remote sensing.

First year plans for the Study Group included finalizing and approving a Study Group Charter; holding a workshop to report on the state of national inventories in each country; document the current state of remote sensing technology in each country; and organize outreach to other NAFC Study Groups. The Charter and workshop have been completed.

Objectives:

  • Identify and take advantage of opportunities for increasing scientific and technical collaboration and consistency in national inventory, monitoring, and assessment among the three countries and globally.
  • Foster compatible approaches to forest inventory, monitoring and assessment among the three countries.
  • Evaluate use of remote sensing and other technologies to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of forest inventory, monitoring, and assessment.
  • Sponsor and facilitate exchanges to build capacity and increase our understanding of different approaches to forest inventory, monitoring, and assessment.
  • Advise member countries about the current status of respective forest inventory, monitoring, and assessment programs.
  • Foster communication with other NAFC working groups.

For a complete look at the charter of the Forest Inventory and Monitoring Working Group, click here.

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