I have a background in forest and woodland management and this interest was recently spurned on by the recent #ForestActionDay (Thnaks toFAO forestry for highlighting it)to see if I could do some analysis on the available forest data that was out there. Problem no. 1, where do I get the data?
Global Forest Watch have a resource to allow users explore and download data sets in a variety of formats. They are attempting to create an open forest data resource and if you are keen to know more, there is a great post available from them 3 Ways Open Data Can Help Forests
Looking at the data for two countries, United Kingdom and Ireland, there is a slight issue:
So, there are currently no datasets available for the UK and Ireland. How do we fill the gap?
As I had a look at Global Forest watch I tried the Global Forest Survey (GFS) from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations next. This is developing a global network of permanent sample plots, which generates standardised information for characterising forest ecosystems around the world. The forest data includes a collection of themes such as biodiversity, changes in the carbon balance and forest conditions
Had a good look around, and it may just be my search skills here, but I came up blank with getting access to the GFS data. There is information though but not for my quick data access requirements:
These assessments are a useful read and do contain plenty of facts and figures and will be a valuable resource of forest monitoring in report format. By the way, there are loads of other forest monitoring and assessment publications here, so if you’re interested in forest development and sustainable forest/ecosystem management, have a look at http://www.fao.org/forestry/fma/en/.
Next stop, I thought I’d try the different forestry related agencies for the two countries.