National Forestry Evaluation (Ecuador)

Initiative

Summary

The National Forestry Directorate of the Ministry of the Environment of Ecuador began a national process to develop a forest inventory in May 2006.  The first methodology for the National Forestry Evaluation (NFE) was developed in 2008 with technical assistance and international cooperation provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).  The NFE is a multi-purpose project that seeks to compile biophysical data about forests as well as related environmental and socio-economic information.  The project also determines the areas of all classes of vegetation cover so that, in the future, changes in land use and above-ground biomass can be recorded for each vegetation class.  In this way, trees outside of forests have been included in land cover measures and for the first time will be included in the quantification of this resource at a national level.  It is expected that, over the long term, the results of the NFE will strengthen the National Forestry Program that is now being applied to the forestry policies of local governments.  As well, it is expected that the NFE will include continuous information updates.

The NFE of Ecuador began its field stage in October 2010 with a pilot phase to evaluate the proposed methodology and to collect field data on the status of forest resources in two forest types:  Andean dry forests and Amazonian forests.  Results of this information will support decision-making and the development of public policies.  Data collected through the NFE will also provide estimates for Emissions Factors that are required to develop a National Inventory for Greenhouse Gases (GHG), as well as the national system for MRV (Measuring, Reporting and Verification) that is required to implement the REDD+ mechanism.

The FAO provides international cooperation and collaboration to the NFE.  It has been present throughout the entire process to guarantee that the proposed actions are in line with the global reality in terms of being state-of-the-art and operational.  The FAO has made significant contributions through technical support for methods development at the national and international levels and to ensure that the methods are included in international agreements about the quantification of forest carbon.