GFOI Data Component – Scoping Meeting, Tokyo 2-3 July

Following a review in 2016, a second phase of GFOI has been developed which strengthens its focus on identifying and addressing country needs and streamlining coordination between partners. It will also include a new Data Component which will coordinate the acquisition, availability, accessibility and capacity to use remote sensing and ground based datasets (data) and tools to support national greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting from forests. However, the specific details of the component; such as its structure, operations and membership are still being clarified.

A preliminary scoping meeting was held at the GFOI Plenary in Bogota on 15 March 2018 to explore the dynamic and approach to the operation of the Data Component within the GFOI structure. Although yielding some useful insights, this was only a first look at the broad spectrum of issues relating to data and tool availability, accessibility and capacity for use. In building on this progress, an additional scoping meeting of the Data Component will be held in Tokyo from 2-3 July 2018 at the Remote Sensing Technology Center of Japan (RESTEC) in Tokyo.

See here for further information.


GFOI Plenary 2018, Bogotá, Colombia 


From left to right: Anthony Bennie, Chair, GFOI Lead. María José Sans Sanchéz, Chair, GFOI MGD Advisory Group. Omar Franco, Director General, IDEAM.


The annual GFOI Plenary was held at the Marriott Hotel Bogota from 12 – 16 March 2018. The Plenary provided a productive forum for global coordination on forest monitoring for MRV issues for REDD+, transparency under the Paris agreement and related fora. It further fostered a large and diverse network of experts and practitioners who collectively provide a larger and more targeted package of support to implementing countries than any one partner could provide alone. With 130 participants, from 39 different countries attending it was the biggest Plenary yet. We look forward to seeing you all again in 2019!

The Outcomes Document from the Plenary is available here.


Tuesday, March 13

Country Needs Asessments

Wednesday, March 14

Breakout Groups

Country experience – Reporting Forums

UK side sessions

  • Forests 2020, Richard Tipper. Ecometrica
  • NCEO, Joao Carreiras. NCEO University of Sheffield


Thursday, March 15

Country presentations

“GFOI presents a unique opportunity for countries to engage and learn more from each other. I am honoured to have participated in 2018 GFOI Plenary.”  Ms. Peris Kimani, Kenya.

“This is the first time I have participated in a GFOI Plenary. It has a great experience. I have learnt a lot from other countries and international experts. Thank you for the initiative.”  Ms. Fifonsi Ayele.

12- 16 March

GFOI Plenary 2018 – Bogotá, Colombia


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!


Taller Práctico REDDcompass – Cuidad de Guatemala

28 de Noviembre al 01 de Diciembre 2017

Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala

Centro de Telemática- Facultad de Agronomía –USAC-


Objetivo general

El objetivo del taller es completar la lista de verificación de REDDcompass MRV y desarrollar un plan de trabajo prioritario y un programa de capacitación.

Estos planes pueden ser posteriormente utilizados por los participantes de Guatemala para priorizar y discutir las necesidades técnicas, de información, de orientación y de capacitación con los socios de GFOI. También se espera que los participantes aprendan a utilizar REDDcompass en apoyo de apoyo en la implementación de la estrategia nacional REDD+ MRV y compartir esta experiencia con otros interesados.


Los participantes son profesional de instituciones involucrados en el desarrollo de la Estrategia REDD+ en Guatemala, incluye Gobierno, ONG´s y acad


Para encontrar el detalle completo del taller, haga click en el link:

General purpose

The objective of the workshop is to complete the REDDcompass MRV checklist and develop a priority work plan and training program.

These plans can be later used by participants in Guatemala to prioritize and discuss the technical, information, guidance and training needs with the GFOI partners. Participants are also expected to learn to use REDDcompass in support of the implementation of the national REDD + MRV strategy and share this experience with other stakeholders.


The participants are professionals from institutions involved in the development of the REDD + Strategy in Guatemala, including the Government, NGOs and academia.

To find the complete detail of the workshop, click on the link:


GFOI side-event @ COP23


Thursday 9 November 2017 from 16:45 to 18:15 local time in Bonn Germany. Meeting Room 9, the Bonn Zone.

The Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) partners will be hosting a side event at the 23rd UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP 23) in Bonn, Germany, entitled ‘Improving productivity and conservation through land use monitoring in the Pacific Islands’.  The side event is being co-hosted by two of the GFOI lead partners: The Australian Government and the European Space Agency (ESA).

The side event will showcase the activities and achievements of the GFOI in the Pacific, and across the world more broadly. The event will include presentations from Pacific Island country participants on the 2016 GFOI REDDcompass training course, ESA presentations on land use monitoring programs in the region and panel discussions on how the GFOI is making a global contribution to land sector climate change mitigation.

Those interested in attending the side event must be nominated to the Bonn Zone as representatives of an admitted observer organization in order to be granted access to the venue. Additional registration to attend the side event is not necessary. For those unable to attend in person, the UNFCCC Secretariat is planning to live broadcast the side event on the UNFCCC YouTube channel.

We hope to see you there!

GFOI_side event flyer

GFOI side event – agenda


Save the date: GFOI Plenary 2018

We are pleased to announce that the GFOI Plenary 2018 will be held in Bogotá, Colombia during the week beginning 12 March 2018.

The week will include an open forum plus additional component meetings and side discussions. More information about the agenda, venue and logistical arrangements will be circulated soon. For now we are asking you to please save the date.

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

Please confirm your interest in attending via email to Please also provide the following details: full name, title, organization, government official (y/n), country of residence, gender and phone number.

We hope to see you there!

GFOI side event at GEO Week 2017

Washington, DC/October 24, 2017

GFOI GEO Side Event Panelist

For more Panelist pictures click here

SilvaCarbon organized a GFOI side event at the 2017 Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Week in Washington, DC. The event consisted of two panel discussions. The first provided an overview of the GFOI partnership, examining how the different GFOI components interact and the contributions of GFOI partners. The second panel presented a practical example of how GFOI works through SilvaCarbon’s contribution to the capacity building component, showcasing specific country progress on the theme of mapping. Institutions involved in the side event included Global Forest Watch (GFW), European Space Agency (ESA), SilvaCarbon, Boston University, University of Maryland, and the World Bank. More information about the event is available here.


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

National University of the Peruvian Amazon – short course on MRV for REDD+

A Masters’ level short course on MRV for REDD+ was held in Iquitos City Peru from 14 to 23 August 2017. Organized by the US SilvaCarbon Program and the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) in collaboration with the Faculty of Forestry Science of National University of the Peruvian Amazon (UNAP), the course was targeted at professionals working on forest management issues in the Peruvian Amazon and surrounding areas. The course followed the structure of web platform REDDcompass, which utilizes the GFOI’s Methods and Guidance Document (MGD) to guide students through the key steps in designing and developing a complete MRV system for REDD+.

25 participants from regional governments, national agencies and academics from the national university of the Peruvian Amazon, completed all coursework and ultimately improved their skills in MRV for REDD+. Learnings from the course will continue to be disseminated by participants, including the academics who Have undertaken to incorporate the materials in to their ongoing teaching schedules. Additionally, the GFOI team developed two lectures for postgraduate and undergraduate students, which approximately 60 participants have already commenced. The UNAP has received a subsequent proposal from the regional Government of Loreto and civil society partners to collaboratively develop a similar course for their representatives based on the training materials of GFOI.

For more information, please contact the GFOI Office on

Particpants from the REDDcompass course