Volume 13, Issue 1 - spring 2020
Making forest fragmentation analysis consistent across the globe
Consistent global forest data are essential to support global strategies to achieve forest sustainability. Previous reports by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization have compiled individual country data, which are not always comparable between countries. It is possible to gather comparable forest data to describe fragmentation and other landscape patterns, but data alone are not enough. Software tools and procedures to use the data are also needed. Now it is possible for individual countries to access the data, tools, and techniques needed to conduct a meaningful assessment at country scale, harmonized with a global assessment that is being considered for the FAO 2020 Forest Resource Assessment. This allows individual countries to interpret their results according to their own criteria while maintaining global consistency. Techniques and software developed by Threat Center scientist Kurt Riitters and colleagues, and employed in US Resources Planning Act assessment, have been adapted through an international memorandum of understanding for global applications within the FAO assessment framework. Read more about this effort.