Peruvian and Colombian stakeholder study tour in Knoxville, TN
A group of nine forest inventory stakeholders from Peru and Colombia visited the Southern Research Station Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) research unit (SRS FIA) in Knoxville, TN, from May 14 to 17.
Accompanying them were personnel from the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station FIA and International Programs Peru Forest Sector Initiative (PFSI). Based in Peru, PFSI aims to provide technical support and implementation of best practices to help the Peruvian Government improve the management of natural resources, with emphasis on the forestry sector.The program is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, and stems from the Trade Promotion Agreement between the United States and Peru.
SilvaCarbon, a multiagency U.S. Government program that supports countries participating in reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and enhancing forest carbon stocks (REDD+) in developing countries, sponsored the visitors from Colombia.The goal of the visit was to help the visitors better understand forest inventory objectives, data flow, processing and quality control–and how to manage and disseminate the information once it is gathered.
The visitors came from a variety of governmental agencies and universities that included the Peruvian Directorate for Forestry and Wildlife and Ministry of Environment, National Agrarian University of La Molina, National University of the Peruvian Amazon, two Amazonian regional governments, and the Colombian Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies. Both Peru and Columbia have implemented pilot forest inventory projects in preparation for expanding these efforts nationwide. Their representatives presented their accomplishments, objectives and challenges of forest inventory and information management in their countries to the group.
The SRS FIA unit presented how the FIA program inventories forests in the United States. Presenters showed the group how the FIA sampling was designed, then followed the course of data from the office to the field and back again, ending with the results that are disseminated to interested stakeholders.Field data collection was demonstrated on newly installed demonstration plots in the Oak Ridge Forest and Arboretum managed by the University of Tennessee. —Tom Brandeis