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FAO initiated collaboration between Forest Survey of India (FSI) and Sri Lanka Forest Department (SLFD) for the design of Sri Lanka’s National Forest Inventory (NFI), institutional capacity building and technology transfer for implementing Sri Lanka’s first NFI cycle. Cooperation between India and Sri Lanka was initiated in early January 2015, with the visit of a team of senior officers of SLFD to FSI for orientation and training on India’s NFI design and implementation, and discussion on potential application in Sri Lanka. SLFD subsequently invited FSI to continue this training and technical support, in partnership with FAO, through the Sri Lanka UN-REDD Programme. FSI agreed to share knowledge, skills, expertise and resources to facilitate NFI design for Sri Lanka, and contributed the time of some of its senior technical officers to achieve this objective.


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The NFI design process began in mid-2016, with FSI conducting a series of workshops in Sri Lanka, to facilitate selection of potential NFI parameters and methods, followed by field-level training events. Subsequently, the NFI field manual was developed, reviewed by FAO experts and tested by SLFD in the field. Thereafter, FSI developed NFI data processing software and trained SLFD officers on NFI data entry, data processing and report generation. The process concluded with the final handover of the NFI manual in June 2017, at an event hosted by SLFD in Colombo, through the Sri Lanka UN-REDD Programme. This cooperation is an excellent example of South-South collaboration, demonstrating optimum utilization of financial and human resources, as well as sustainable technology transfer.  


The capacity of Sri Lanka’s national institutions in designing and implementing the island’s NFI was substantially enhanced through first-hand experience gained while resolving several technical, practical and operational issues that arose during field data collection and analysis. Coordination between government agencies in Sri Lanka was also enhanced, with SLFD and the Department of Agriculture collaborating in the collection and analysis of data on carbon content of soil and litter samples. Moreover, the programme created multiple opportunities for communication and knowledge sharing among Indian and Sri Lankan officials, which will continue well into the future.


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For more details, please contact Raushan Kumar, Forestry Officer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Ben Vickers, Programme Officer on REDD+ in Asia and the Pacific Region (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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