Manual: Monitoring, Assessment and Reporting for Sustainable Forest Management in Pacific Island Countries
Monitoring, assessment and reporting (MAR) are crucial tools for any kind of professional and successful management. Also for sustainable forest management (SFM) MAR measures may enhance its efficiency. But not only forest managers may profit. Also on the national and international political level MAR results can support decision makers. The Pacific Regional MAR Workshop in 2008 recommended the development of a concrete MAR design suitable for the conditions in the participating Pacific Island Countries (PIC). Cost effectiveness and a design harmonized amongst the very different countries (atolls to big islands) were defined as challenging preconditions.
Due to the fact that all PIC joining the Forest Resource Assessment (FRA) process it was decided to orientate the criteria to monitor mainly to the FAO criteria of FRA. A MAR system was developed during 2009 and presented in January 2010 to PIC representatives. After field tests and final modifications the MAR system was found to be feasible for the PIC demand, even if in certain cases specific solutions must be developed in the future.
According to the basic philosophy behind the development process - to orientate on the possibilities of the “lesser developed” countries - all implementation aspects should be kept as simple and as functional as possible – sophisticated requirements on methods, skills, and equipment were avoided as much as possible. However, this does not mean that a country with more sophisticated possibilities shall not use its resources and replace a method with a more scientific one. Also some monitoring methods especially for carbon estimation are currently in a fast international development process. Therefore regular actualization of methods might be necessary in the future.