The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced the launch of a new software to help developing nations monitor the state of their forests, stressing that accurate information is crucial for governments to manage their natural resources sustainably.


"Many countries simply do not have a full picture of what is happening in their forests, and without that knowledge it is hard to develop effective forest policies to combat deforestation and forest degradation or to advance national climate change strategies," said Eduardo Rojas-Briales, Assistant Director-General for FAO Forestry, in a statement.

As it stands now, nearly 80 percent of developing countries have difficulty obtaining and using basic information about their forest resources.

"Open Foris" is a FAO-led initiative designed to assist countries in forest inventory - from assessment, design and field data collection to analysis and reporting. Released today at the International Union of Forest Research Organizations' World Congress in Salt Lake City, Open Foris tools are already being tested in more than ten countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The new software includes built-in tools to help countries meet international reporting requirements related to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and increasing the carbon stock in forests.

In addition, the FAO tools simplify the complex process of transforming raw data such as tree measurements and satellite imagery into interactive web pages with statistics, graphs, maps and reports.

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