By invitation of the National REDD Coordination (CN REDD) of Congo and FAO, a delegation of OSFAC composed by Landing Mane (Director), André Mazinga (RS and GIS officer) and Cédric Singa (RS and GIS officer) went to Brazzaville to attend the FACET product presentation workshop (FACET : Forêts d’Afrique Centrale Evaluées par Télédétection).

The workshop had two objectives :

  • To present the methodology and results of FACET Congo ;
  • To talk about the development of Terms of Reference (TOR) for FACET Congo validation.

Several participants from various national institutions (CNIAF, universities, civil society) and international (FAO, UNDP and UNOPS) took part in this workshop. Following the presentation of FACET Congo by OSFAC team, participants asked several questions related to the methodology, the results of the classification of forest strata and statistical tables of the Atlas. They positively assessed the results of FACET while demanding that the National Institutions Experts should be trained to be able to use the FACET methodology. Participants also wanted that FACET methodology should be used with free or not expensive software (open source).

The workshop participants agreed that for a good valuation of FACET's results, fieldworks (validation) is required. It is in this sense that a draft of Terms of Reference prepared by the National REDD Coordination in collaboration with FAO was presented by the Moderator of the Workshop (Brice Cherubin Ouissika). The discussions that followed led to make comments and suggestions for improving the ToR. CN REDD and FAO will finalize the TOR specifying the approach to be adopted in the field (transect sampling or stratified random sampling) and experts that will make up the team that will perform the validation mission.

The workshop was preceded by a meeting between National REDD Coordination of Congo and OSFAC team. During the meeting, the Coordinator of the CN REDD, Georges Boudzanga congratulated OSFAC and its partners (UMD, SDSU NASA and USAID / CARPE) for work carried out in the Congo, particularly FACET. He stressed that after validation, the Congolese Government through the Ministry of Forest Economy will take ownership of the results of FACET and use them in the REDD process underway in the country. He also hoped that the OSFAC longer present in Congo to increase its collaboration with national structures.

After thanking CN REDD and FAO for organizing this workshop concerning FACET, OSFAC's Director has reiterated the commitment of his organization to provide data and information on the monitoring of forests by satellite in Congo, to provide technical support to the activities of partners working on the area of forests and to strengthen the capacity of the Congolese national institutions and organizations in GIS, remote sensing and digital mapping. Constantly exchanges between CN REDD Congo and OSFAC will clearly define areas of collaboration in the short and medium term.

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