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.