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home > nafc > forest inventory & monitoring

Charter(January 13, 2000)

Table of Contents:


I. Mission

II. Objectives

III. Working Group Membership

IV. Working Group Member Responsibilities

V. Working Group Operations

VI. Official Languages

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There is increasing recognition in all three NAFC countries 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. All three countries are currently revising their approaches to national scale forest inventory. It is a fortunate coincidence that all three countries are in a state of flux; there is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to explore options for increasing useful consistency between the countries, and moving towards a common North American framework for inventory and monitoring.

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I. Mission:

Share research and information and take advantage of opportunities for collaboration and scientific exchange on forest inventory, monitoring, and assessment throughout North America in support of sustainable forest management.

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II. Objectives:

The Working Group will focus initially on the following:

1. 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.

2. Foster compatible approaches to forest inventory, monitoring and assessment among the three countries.

3. Evaluate use of remote sensing and other technologies to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of forest inventory, monitoring, and assessment.

4. Sponsor and facilitate exchanges to build capacity and increase our understanding of different approaches to forest inventory, monitoring, and assessment.

5. Advise member countries about the current status of respective forest inventory, monitoring, and assessment programs.

6. Foster communication with other NAFC working groups.

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III. Working Group Membership:

Permanent membership will consist of up to four representatives from each country, to be appointed by the respective NAFC organizational bodies. Working Group meetings may also include additional invitees as deemed appropriate by the permanent members.

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IV. Working Group Member Responsibilities:

1. Facilitate communication between the Working Group and colleagues in their home country.

2. Attend annual Working Group meeting and participate in all discussions. 3. Participate in assigned Working Group work activities.

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V. Working Group Operations:

A. Working Group Meetings.
The Working Group will meet once per year to report on past progress and make future work plans. Meeting locations will rotate among the three countries beginning in 2000. The hosting country will make all meeting arrangements and will compile and distribute meeting notes to all participants. Agendas for Working Group Meetings will include:

  • Introductions of participants
  • Country updates on status and change in forest inventory and monitoring systems
  • Presentation and discussion of progress reports on previous year's plan of works
  • Other reports, presentations, discussions as requested or appropriate
  • Consensus on priority issues for the Working Group to address
  • Determination of next year plan of work
  • Selection of a theme and a location for the next year's meeting.
  • Host country names a Chair for next year's meeting

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B. Working Group Chair.
The Chair will rotate between countries annually and will:

  • Serve a term of one year, commencing at the end of the current meeting and terminating with the selection of a new Chair at the end of the following year's meeting;
  • Lead in planning and developing an agenda for the Working Group meeting they will chair;
  • Lead the Working Group during the working meeting;
  • Coordinate information exchanges between meetings;
  • Be responsible for communications between the Working Group and other groups including the NAFC leadership, the Board of Alternates, and other Working Groups; and
  • Following the annual meeting, the outgoing Chair will prepare meeting notes and a summary of the past year's actions and accomplishments in a timely fashion and distribute them to Working Group members.

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C. Work plan.
At every Working Group meeting, a work plan will be prepared identifying:

  • Tasks to be accomplished in the coming year;
  • Roles and responsibilities in accomplishing the task
  • Deliverables and time lines
  • Budget requirements and funding sources.

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VI. Official Languages:

In recognition of the multi-culturality of North America, the official languages of the Working Group will include Spanish, French, and English. Working Group meetings should be prepared to provide translation to and from all three languages unless otherwise agreed in advance by all meeting participants.

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