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The fundamental objective of the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) is to help nations develop a capacity to utilize Earth Observation data in a credible national forest monitoring system that can provide input to national MRV systems for GHG emissions and removals in IPCC-compliant reporting to the UNFCCC, REDD+ and future carbon markets. 

GFOI seeks to engage all countries working on developing national forest monitoring systems through provision of the satellite data, methods and guidance documentation and capacity building activities. SilvaCarbon Program is the U.S. contribution to the GFOI, responsible for delivering GFOI capacity building to complement the national REDD+ readiness activities of the UN and World Bank, focused on:

  • Support for the acquisition, installation and operation of technical hardware/software for processing of satellite, in situ and airborne forest and forest-related data;
  • Country-specific training in the selection, assessment, use and combination of different types of data for forest and carbon accounting, including model development;
  • Global and regional workshops/meetings such as those arranged for the National Demonstrators;
  • Training courses on selected issues.
Efforts to date have included a series of workshops in Latin America, organized and funded by US Silvacarbon and supported by Australia and Norway. Australia has its own focused program with Indonesia for the development of national capacity, as does Norway with Tanzania. Starting in 2014, GFOI initiated its activities in South and Southeast Asia by organizing two workshops focused on identifying technical gaps and capacity needs of the participating countries. The capacity building activities of GFOI and SilvaCarbon in the region are continuing with the following workshops.