National Forest Inventory
The National Forest Inventory (NFI) is one of the main surveys conducted by federal government to produce information about Brazilian Forest resources.
One aspect that makes NFI singular is the field data collection in natural and planted forests, including collection of botanical and soil samples, measurement of trees and the interview with surrounding dwellers. In this way, it will evaluate the quality and conditions of forests and their importance to people.
With nationwide coverage and unique methodology for all biomes, the data collection is carried out in sample units located every each 20 km of distance across the country. Detailed information is produced in a regular way about aspects such as structure, composition, health and vitality of forest, biomass, and wood and carbon stock.
The proposal is that the study will be carried out periodically, with measurements being repeated in the same spots. With this, it will be also possible to follow up the changes in these aspects through time.
Importance and Benefits
With more than half territory (55%) covered by forests and sheltering the largest extension of tropical forest of the planet, to know and to monitor entire forest biodiversity is a need and a challenge to Brazil.
Besides make data about situation of brazilian forests available to entire society, the information produced could be used mainly to support the formulation of public policies and help to identify strategies and opportunities for sustainable use, recovery and conservation of forest resources.
The results also meet the growing demand for information of organizations and governments in international agreements on forests, research institutions, universities, among others.
The accomplishment of National Forest Inventory is foreseen in the new Forest Code (Law 12.651/2012) and is coordinated by Brazilian Forest Service (Decree 8.975/2017).
NFI is executed with resources of federal and state governments and has the support of Projects funded by Amazonia Fund, Forest Investment Fund (FIP) and Global Environment Fund (GEF).
The Project is followed up by two consultative instances with the objective to collaborate in its continuous implementation and improvement:
- Technical Committee
The NFI Technical Committee (NFI-TC) supports Brazilian Forest Service in technical and methodological matters to promote the awareness and inventory methodological evolution. The committee is formed by specialists and consultants with experience in the main areas related to forest monitoring.
Whenever necessary, the Technical Committee could propose the creation of thematic committees on specific matters to ensure an adequate execution of the project and, in special, improve the methodological aspects and support relevant technical decisions. Aspects such as socio-environmental survey, landscape analysis and botanical identification already had contributions coming from these committees.
NFI also had the follow up by part of the members of the Public Forest Management Commission (CGFLOP), consultative organ of BFS. Besides follow up, the commission evaluates and presents recommendations for a continuous improvement of the project.
In the 80’s, Brazil carried out the first and only edition of a national forest inventory. The main objective was to generate information on wood stock of natural and planted forests.
Since then, only regional inventories were carried out in the country, to meet private demands of information and subsidize colonization or planning programs.
More recently, with the recognition of forest importance and their multiple uses for the production of goods and services, both environmental and social, some states took the initiative to carry out their states surveys. Despite the positive aspect of these initiatives, it is important that the country also have information produced by a national methodology.
In this context, between 2005 and 2009, Brazilian Forest Service promoted some workshops and meetings with brazilian specialists of all biomes and representatives of other countries which had already carried out their inventories, to define the scope and methodology of the National Forest Inventory.
Between 2007 and 2011, the first field data collection were carried out in the state of Santa Catarina, with the partnership of Blumenau Regional University (FURB).
The initiative also had the participation of Santa Catarina State University (UDESC), Santa Catarina Federal University (UFSC) and Santa Catarina Enterprise of Agricultural Research and Rural Extension (EPAGRI). The survey was funded by Brazilian Forest Service (BFS), Santa Catarina State Foundation of Research and Innovation Support (FAPESC) and State Government.
In 2009, BFS carried out the survey in Federal District and is progressively implementing it across the entire country, by states, mesoregions and biomes, according to available resources and negotiations with local governments and financial institutions.
NFIs around the World
The national forest inventories are an important tool in the management of the countries forest resources. Its importance has also increase in the context of international agendas, such as climate change, greenhouse effect and biological diversity.
According to FAO, it is estimated that 97 countries around the world carry out national forest inventories, about 60 of them in tropical forest regions. Some carry out their inventories since 1920 decade, such as USA, Finland, Sweden and Norway, among others.
After the Second World War, many countries adopted the national forest inventory as a tool of information to support their rebuilding. In recent years, the survey have been continually expanded to allow a national level of monitoring and evaluation that includes forests, trees outside forest, their condition, products and services, as well as its importance to the people. To know more about the international initiatives visit FAO’s website.
More about NFI:
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