Development and Coordination of Monitoring Programs in Foreign Countries

Research Issue

View of Eurasia, including Russian forests, taken with the Terra satellite's MODIS sensor.The USDA Forest Service considers international cooperation to be an important component of its mission. Not only do Forest Service employees gain new insights into natural resource science and management approaches, but they also strengthen partnerships that help confront interconnected social, economic and ecological issues related to forests. Foreign countries have inventory and monitoring needs similar to those in the United States. Due to lack of expertise, political changes that lead to a lack of continuity in forestry staff, or lack of funding, many countries do not have a national forest inventory. Sound, scientifically defensible monitoring programs that provide results that are compatible with those of other countries are needed for both national and global forest resource assessments.

Our Research

[photo:] Honduran National Forest Inventory specialists participating in a NIMAC-led technology transfer activity by measuring a small square plot in which soil will be collected.FIA’s National Inventory and Monitoring Applications Center (NIMAC) is working with several countries around the world, primarily conducting technology transfer activities related to inventory and monitoring, developing conceptual and software tools for inventory data processing, statistical training, transferring technology in remote sensing and spatial analysis, promoting institutionalization of sound forest monitoring systems, and helping foster understanding and cooperation between countries. View examples of FIA activities for 2018 .

Expected Outcomes

The technology transfer work FIA staff and affiliates have conducted will address international obligations to monitor forest health and condition indicators, provide a credible, scientific foundation for making management decisions for sustainable forestry, contribute to the rural and national economy through wise use of their forests, and contribute to the body of institutional knowledge in the international forest monitoring community. Within FIA and the USFS, staff will both gain valuable career experiences, learn new techniques and methods shared by partner countries, and improve the Agency’s standing domestically and internationally

Research Participants

Principal Investigator

  • Andrew Lister, USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station Forest Inventory and Analysis and NIMAC, Research Forester


  • Last modified: July 2, 2019