FAO Launches Software for Forest Monitoring
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) announced the launch of Open Foris, a suite of open source software tools to monitor forest inventory. Piloted in ten countries, the tools allow for data entry on smart phones or tablets.
Overall, the objective of the tools is to assist in the monitoring of forests to support efforts to combat deforestation, biodiversity loss and climate change. According to FAO, the tools integrate data on canopy cover, tree species, quality, number and size of trees, and the use of forests by local communities. Of added value, the tool can be used to meet international reporting requirements, including for REDD+.
The software was developed by FAO with funding from the Governments of Finland and Germany. Training has already begun for specialists in Argentina, Bhutan, Papua New Guinea and Uruguay while regional pilots are in place in Viet Nam. National forest inventories in Ecuador and Tanzania have already made use of Open Foris.