GFOI Plenary 2017: Invitation, Venue and Accommodation

GFOI Plenary 2015, Sydney.

GFOI Plenary 2015, Sydney.

Date & Location

The GFOI Plenary 2017 will be held in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, from 9-12 April, at the New World Hotel.

Invitation & Permit

A formal invitation from the FAO Representative to Viet Nam is now available.


The agenda is also now available. Please note that the agenda is still a draft and subject to change. The open plenary sessions will be held on 11 and 12 April, with an additional open training session scheduled for the afternoon of Monday 10 April. Invitations for other events on 9 and 10 April will be issued separately.

Visa applications

All participants are responsible for ensuring that they can enter Viet Nam and where necessary obtain a visa in advance of travelling. The invitation letter and workshop permit can be used to support visa applications. We strongly recommend that you confirm your own requirements to enter Viet Nam and if necessary apply for a visa asap . Please note that ASEAN nationals are exempt from short‐term visas for entering Viet Nam. For more information, please see here or contact your local embassy, consulate or travel/visa agent.


Accommodation is available at the venue (New World Hotel hotel). Participants are be responsible for making their own reservations. A special corporate rate is available for participants who book through Thien Ha Travel & Convention Centre. Please see the reservation form for more information on booking through this service and note that payment will be issued to the Thien Ha Travel company and not the hotel. Alternatively, participants are welcome to contact the hotel directly or make reservations through travel agents or online booking services. Please note that accommodation is limited and it is a busy time of year in Viet Nam, so we suggest you make your reservations asap.


We ask that you kindly confirm your attendance via return email to at your earliest convenience, if you haven’t done so already. RSVP before 31 March is essential as attendance is limited.
Additional information will be sent in the coming weeks. In the meantime, if you have any questions or clarifications please feel free to get in touch with the GFOI Office.

GFOI Plenary 2016, Frascati, Italy.

GFOI Plenary 2016, Frascati, Italy.

GFOI Review 2016: Final Report and Response Note

Throughout 2016, a holistic review of GFOI has been underway. Conducted by Dr. James Baker, the review has sought to quantify progress made by GFOI to date, assess its value and develop a series of recommendations for a potential next phase of the Initiative.

The review process included extensive personal interviews and survey responses, as well as the assessment of strategy documents, organisational structures, procedures, website use, product uptake and literature reviews.

In summary, the review found that the GFOI has been largely successful in pursuing its initial goals. The Initiative has demonstrated that via an informal-collaborative-initiative productive relationships can be established, operational guidance can be developed, data needs addressed and the development of new technologies pursued for the benefit of developing countries.

However, the review recommends that GFOI now needs to chart a course for the future that is consistent with the changing global context; including the Paris Agreement and other significant developments since the Initiative was first established.

The GFOI Leads Group gathered in Rome during late October to consider the results of the review and consider the way forward. Overall, the Leads agreed with findings of the review and will adopt some of its recommendations.

A second phase of GFOI will now be pursued and focused on a primary goal of coordinated capacity building assistance in forest monitoring for the benefit of developing countries globally. This will be underpinned by operational methods and guidance that are continuously updated and assist in achieving consistency and good practice compliance in forest monitoring. Input on data, research, and technology will be continued in the context of how it best enhances capacity building for countries.

For more information, please see the Final Report from the review and the Response Note from the GFOI Leads Group.


GFOI releases new tool to guide countries in developing MRV systems for REDD+

The Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) is pleased to launch a new web application to help countries develop national forest monitoring systems and associated greenhouse gas emissions measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) procedures.

With forests playing a central role in the Paris Climate Change Agreement, robust forest monitoring and MRV systems will be vital in helping countries to meet their emissions reductions pledges and ultimately help to mitigate climate change.

The application, named REDDcompass, provides a systematic workflow approach to guide countries through the otherwise complex process of developing forest monitoring and MRV systems.

“REDDcompass will serve as a kind of buddy to accompany countries all the way through their system design and development phase,” said Dr. Carly Green, GFOI Component Manager for the Methods and Guidance Documentation (MGD), who has led the development of the new tool. “It is designed to make technical guidance materials easier to access and follow in a manner that is conducive with developing country needs.”

REDDcompass provides recommendations on designing and establishing MRV processes that are consistent with IPCC guidance and UNFCCC requirements for REDD+ reporting. It provides access to the GFOI’s Methods and Guidance Document (MGD) and supporting training materials and tools developed by GFOI partners through an easy navigational tool. It also allows users to store information, identify specific training requirements and make enquiries to international organizations relating to their MRV procedures.

The guidance within REDDcompass has been written by a global team of experts and stakeholders who specialize in forest information systems and in the assessment of greenhouse gas emissions and removals from forests.

“REDDcompass presents guidance material in a manner which allows countries to apply international good practice guidance whilst meeting their own unique needs and national circumstances,” said Inge Jonckheere, the leader of UN-REDD’s remote sensing and webportals team. “We hope that it will become a useful resource for building capacity and resilience in UN-REDD countries.”

REDDcompass is freely available for all countries to access, download and use. To access the web application visit The development of this web application has been supported by the Australian Government.

For any further information about this tool, please contact

Methods and Guidance Modules

GFOI is producing a series of modules to support users of the Methods and Guidance Document by providing timely updates on current themes. So far three modules have been published. These cover the relationship between the MGD and the GOFC-GOLD sourcebook (June 2014), the use of global datasets in national forest monitoring, such as those published by Global Forest Watch (March 2015); and forest reference emission levels and forest reference levels (July 2015). Like the MGD itself, all these modules are designed to be consistent with IPCC greenhouse gas inventory methods and decisions of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties on REDD+ and to provide operational advice on how to develop emissions and removals estimates associated with REDD+ activities including on the meaning of technical terms. The first three modules are available here.