By providing reliable data on forest cover and other major environmental trends, the Forest Observatory of Eastern and Southern Africa (OFESA) supports national and regional tracking of performance on climate commitments, The OFESA will be linked to related projects (such as Biopama and GMEA-Africa). It will contribute to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15 which targets sustainable forest management, the restoration, afforestation and reforestation efforts. By building capacities of national forestry agencies and regional policy makers for effective climate change-related planning and management, the OFESA also responds to SDG 13 on climate action.
Since 2007, CIFOR has successfully coordinated and co-led the development and implementation of the Observatory of the Forests of Central Africa (OFAC). Building on this experience, CIFOR led the overall development of the OFESA prototype, assessing the feasibility of the project.
CIFOR is supporting the implementation of the OFESA prototype to create a reliable monitoring system. It will partner with the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development, which will contribute technical skills for the maintenance of the observatory's database and website. These include remote sensing and geographic information system applications for resource mapping, environmental information systems, data analytics and climate modeling.
Two goals are achieved through the implementation of this project, based on the three pillars of data generation, data sharing, and capacity building.
1. Development of a sustainable governance framework for the long-term service of the OFESA.
2. Human capacities in terms of management and use of environmental information are strengthened, and information is available.