Save the Date: GFOI Plenary 9-11 April 2019

GFOI, together with the Government of the Republic of Mozambique, through the Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development (MITADER), we are pleased to announce that the GFOI Plenary 2019 will be held in Maputo, Mozambique from 8-11 April 2019.

The Plenary will include an open forum, component meetings, exhibitions and much more. Further information about the agenda, venue and logistical arrangements will be circulated soon but for now we ask you to please save the date.

Please note that participants will be responsible for making their own travel, accommodation and visa arrangements.

To confirm your interest in attending, please email and provide the following information:

First name:
Government official (y/n):
Countryof residence:
Email address:
Phone number:

We hope to see you there!


New study: Lessons learned from REDD+ evaluations

GFOI is pleased to release this new study ‘Lessons learned for REDD+ from evaluations of GHG  statements’. 

Authored by Till Neeff and Donna Lee, with contributions from GFOI partners, this study is a comparative analysis of the ways in which GHG statements are evaluated.

In recent years, many developing countries have made strong progress in the development of their National Forest Monitoring Systems (NFMS) and associated capabilities for greenhouse gas (GHG) measurement and reporting, but knowledge of verification produces remains relatively quite low. This is likely because, to date, many countries have been focused on REDD+ readiness and implementation of REDD+ strategies and action plans. However, some countries are starting to move towards reporting their emissions reduction results, increasing the relevance of knowledge building on this topic.

An increased understanding of GHG evaluations presents a unique opportunity for targeted capacity building where evaluations can serve as the basis for identifying data gaps, defining training needs and improving national processes. Evaluation processes can also connect closely to continuous improvement plans and become a core pillar in further developing MRV capacities.

We hope that this study will help to improve the understanding of GHG evaluations which in turn can help to improve measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) procedures as a whole.

We thank the lead authors for their work in driving this study and express our gratitude to the many partners who have made valued contributions and supported the report’s design and execution.

Finally, we note this report represents the views of the authors only. It is intended to help fill the knowledge gap of GHG evaluations for the benefit of GFOI’s developing country and other international partners alike. It does not necessarily represent the views of all GFOI partners.

Check it out here.

Happy reading!


Major milestone reached in forest monitoring from space

Press release | Committee on Earth Observation Satellites

Thanks to a major effort to ensure full satellite coverage of the world’s forests, all countries now have the necessary data for annual forest monitoring for the first time ever.

The space agencies operating the world’s largest civil Earth observing satellite programmes have declared a major milestone in assuring essential imagery coverage of the world’s forests in 2017. CEOS (the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites) has been coordinating space agency support to the data needs of the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) since 2011. This involves ensuring coordinated and complementary systematic acquisition strategies for a suite of relevant Earth observation satellites to provide all countries with the data necessary for annual monitoring of their forests. Complete forest cover data is crucial for countries to be able to report on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in support of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Deforestation and forest degradation is the 2nd leading source of carbon emissions globally, and must be reduced significantly in order to meet global climate targets.

Full and open forest data is now available for all countries as a result of the open data policies and collaboration of a variety of national space agencies and coordinating bodies. The core data streams underpinning this coordinated multi-annual global coverage of forests are the optical sensors on the Landsat series (USGS), and from the European Union Copernicus programme the Sentinel-1 radar series (EU/ESA) and the optical Sentinel-2 series (EU/ESA). Further data contributions are provided by the space agencies of Japan (JAXA), Brazil (INPE), China (CRESDA), France (CNES), Italy (ASI), Canada (CSA), and Germany (DLR). Further useful datasets are anticipated next year from the space agencies of the UK (NovaSAR mission) and Argentina (SAOCOM mission).

Global coverage of forests through this collaboration will continue from 2017 until at least 2030, allowing countries to confidently apply satellite data in their national forest monitoring and reporting systems.

For further information contact:

Download the press release

CEOS: The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites ensures international coordination of civil space-based Earth observation programs and promotes exchange of data to optimize societal benefit and inform decision-making for securing a prosperous and sustainable future for humankind. Its 60 Member and Associate Agencies include the space agencies sponsoring all the world’s major civil Earth observing satellite programmes.

GFOI: The Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) is a voluntary partnership of countries and institutions who are collaboratively assisting developing countries to improve their forest monitoring and greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting capabilities for the purposes of establishing baselines and tracking progress in reducing GHG emissions from forests. Through collaborative action, GFOI partners seek to provide a larger and more streamlined package of assistance to developing countries than any one partner could provide alone. This includes supporting the sustained acquisition, availability, accessibility and capacity for countries to use Earth observation data and tools for forest monitoring purposes. GFOI is a flagship of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO). For more information please see .

map of the world showing global CEOS coverage

GFOI Plenary 2017: Presentations

Thank you for joining the GFOI Plenary 2017 in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.

It was a great week with lively discussions, interesting presentations, exciting demonstrations and of course a talented musical performance! We had well over 100 participants from more than 30 different countries all sharing their ideas, expertise and experiences in forest monitoring and MRV.

Minutes from the plenary and summaries from the breakout sessions are available here, and copies of the presentations from the Open Forum sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday are now available for download below.

Tuesday 11 April 2017

  • Welcome

Anthony Bennie – Chair, GFOI Leads Group – download presentation

  • REDD+ Update

Maria Sanz Sanchez – download presentation

  • GFOI Successes and Opportunities

Jim Baker – GFOI Reviwer – download presentation

  • GFOI’s Methods and Guidance Documentation Component

Carly Green – MGD Component Manager – download presentation

  • GFOI’s Capacity  Building Component

Sasha Gottlieb – SilvaCarbon – download presentation

Inge Jonckheere – UNREDD – download presentation

  • GFOI’s Space Data Component

Frank Martin Seinfert – SDCG Co-Chair, ESA – download presentation

  • GFOI’s R&D Coordination Component

Martin Herold – R&D Coordination Component Manager – download presentation

  • Training the Trainer workshop series

Rama Chandra Reddy – Senior Carbon Finance Specialist World Bank, FCPF – download presentation

Wednesday 12 April 2017

  • IPCC: 2019 Refinement of the 2006 IPCC Guidelines

Andrej Kranjc – IPCC – download presentation

Sekai Ngarize – IPCC – download presentation

  • Country FREL presentations

Nguyen Dinh Hung – Vietnam – download presentation

Edersson Cabrera – Columbia – download presentation

Budiharto – Indonesia – download presentation



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 final agenda is now available. 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.

Logistics note

To support participation in next week’s event, a logistics note that includes important on the ground information has been prepared.


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 are pleased to announce that there is overwhelming interest in the Plenary this year. So much so that we have now reached capacity and registration has been closed.
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.