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

GFOI Capacity Building Summit – Kathmandu Nepal

The GFOI Capacity Building Summit was held at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Kathmandu Nepal from 18 to 22 September 2017. The Summit was attended by representatives from international organizations and REDD+ countries alike. It provided an opportunity for partners of the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) to reflect on progress to date in forest monitoring capacity building efforts and discuss the way forward. REDD+ country representatives were also trained in the use of GFOI’s REDDcompass, a valuable tool for identifying needs and remaining gaps in national measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) processes for REDD+.

Participants discussed the need for capacity building efforts to be aimed directly at priority country needs and delivered according to the unique circumstances of each country. The GFOI’s MGD should be used as the centerpiece of capacity building activities and REDDcompass is a valuable resource for systematically identifying gaps and needs. There is a need to develop more sophisticated means to facilitate coordination between partners’, including through a global inventory of capacity building activities and possibly harmonized work planning.

The Summit produced a set of draft principles for good practice capacity building. Amongst other outcomes, these principles will seek to align international support with priority country needs, enable more efficient coordination between partners and monitor progress. These principles will be finalized in the coming weeks and are proposed to form the basis of capacity building activities under GFOI’s second phase which is due to start in 2018.

The GFOI Office would like to acknowledge and thank the US SilvaCarbon Programme, ICIMOD and the Government of Nepal for jointly organizing and hosting the summit.

For more information, please contact the GFOI Office on or head to the Summit website.

Participants at the GFOI Capacity Building Summit

GFOI Capacity Building Summit, ICIMOD, Nepal, 18-21 September 2017.
Photo: Jitendra Raj Bajracharya/ICIMOD.

SDCG12 held in Frascati

The 12th meeting of CEOS’ Space Data Coordination Group (SDCG) for GFOI was held this week at ESA’s Centre for Earth Observation (ESRIN) in Frascati Italy. The twice yearly meeting was attended by representatives from the world’s leading civil space agencies with earth observation satellites and programs. Under the SDCG, CEOS partners are working to ensure developing countries have ready access to the satellite data they need for monitoring their forests and account for greenhouse gas emissions and removals as their forests change.

At SDCG12, partners discussed a new theme for GFOI in Early Warning systems including the use of new satellite data technologies. Early Warning systems are designed to empower countries with near-real-time information on unexpected changes in their forests from fire, illegal logging or pests thus allowing action to be taken to protect the forest before it’s too late. GFOI has established an Early Warning taskforce together with partners WRI, to look at what country users might need from early warning systems and how advancements in new technologies and datasets can improve early warning techniques. The taskforce is still in its early days and initial findings can be expected in 2018.

For more information, please contact:

Participants at the meeting 

REDDcompass Masters’ level short course

From 4 to 15 September 2017, partners of the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) and the University of Melbourne are hosting a Masters’ level short course on MRV for REDD+ for participants from Indonesia. The course follows the structure of GFOI’s web platform REDDcompass which takes students through the key steps in designing and developing a complete MRV system for REDD+. REDDcompass provides a user-friendly approach to assist users in working through complex tasks and detailed guidance materials, including GFOI’s Methods and Guidance Documentation (MGD) and training materials of other partners including the FAO, SilvaCarbon, GOFC-GOLD, the World Bank and others.

30 participants from national and subnational agencies in Indonesia are participating in the course, which utilizes the professional teaching environment of the university to develop a comprehensive skillset in MRV for REDD+. Students will participate in a series of lectures, tutorials, practical tasks, short assessments and submit a final thesis in the form of a national MRV roadmap which draws on the existing capacities, tools and data in Indonesia. Students who complete all course materials will be awarded credit points for the subject from the University of Melbourne.

The course is being cohosted by GFOI partners in the Australian Government, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the US SilvaCarbon Programme.

For more information, please contact the GFOI Office on


Participants from the GFOI RTEDDcompass training course

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



SilvaCarbon’s second regional workshop for Central America

SilvaCarbon held its second regional workshop for Central American countries in Costa Rica from 30 January to 3 February 2017. The workshop focused on methods for forest biomass estimation and forest cover mapping in the tropics.

This workshop reviewed methodologies associated with different sources of remote sensing data that can be used for biomass estimation, such as Landsat , SAR, and LiDAR data. It also reviewing some of the critical issues associated with biomass estimation, such as field data analysis, the use of suitable algorithms, uncertainty analysis and the application of biomass models. There were two parts to the workshop: a two-day meeting to review and discuss existing methods of biomass estimation, followed by a three-day field visit to gain field experience in a variety of biomass intensity settings.

For more information, please see the full report here.

SilvaCarbon WS

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.


New REDD+ capacity building initiative from FAO, UN-REDD, GFOI and the University of Melbourne


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) in developing countries (UN-REDD) and the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) in collaboration with the University of Melbourne are pleased to announce the launch of a new REDD+ capacity building initiative.

The initiative will focus on National Forest Monitoring Systems (NFMS) and Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) for REDD+ building on existing technical guidance from FAO, UN-REDD, and GFOI (Methods and Guidance Document and REDDCompass) and and the expertise of technical partners in an intensive two-week course as a module of the Master of Forest Ecosystem Science of the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Key technical topics will include:

  • UNFCCC decisions on MRV and the Warsaw Framework for REDD+,
  • The IPCC and Greenhouse Gas Inventories (GHGi),
  • National Forest Monitoring Systems (NFMS),
  • Forest Reference (Emission) Levels (FREL/FRL),
  • REDD+ results reporting,
  • National Forest Inventory (NFI),
  • Satellite Land Monitoring Systems (SLMS).

The initiative’s first course will be for Pacific countries# from 28 November to 9 December 2016 at the Creswick Campus of the School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences of the University of Melbourne. Government nominations are required before 30th September, 2016 to enable travel arrangements. Course and travel expenses will be covered by FAO with financial support from UN-REDD, GFOI, and the Australian Government.

Subject to the successful completion of this first short course, it may be replicated in other regions. Other partners are invited to contribute and expressions of interest can be sent to the contact persons below.

Julian Fox, FAO, Tom Harvey, GFOI Office, and Chris Weston, University of Melbourne.

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