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      Forest Resources Assessment Project (FRA)



Letter of Agreement



Project Approach



I. Introduction

FRA Project – is a grant agreement between the Forest Management Bureau (FMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Forestry Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in support of the Forest Resources Assessment Programme of FAO.

FRA Programme – is the FAO program tasked to lead the implementation of the Global Forest Resources Assessment, and to support national forest assessments.

Global Forest Resources Assessment – a global process led by FAO that collects, analyzes, manages and makes available information about forest resources, their management and uses for all countries. It is an FAO initiative which aims to provide up-to-date information on the state of the world’s forest resources on a continuing basis.

II .Background

* Travels of FAO Mission to the Philippines in December 2001, February 2002 and May 2002 when the possibility of implementing the FRA project was discussed.

* Presently available information were obtained more than a decade and covered only legally classified forestland.

* Current information requirements include forest and tree resources on all types of land and the management and uses of such forest resources.

* The need of an updated national forest assessment in the Philippines.

III .Comparison with Other National Forest Inventories

* FAO-FRA Program does not limit itself to the measurement of trees and forest resources in legally classified forestlands, but includes the measurement of such resources in alienable and disposable (A&D) lands and private lands.

* FAO-FRA Program supports the development of analytical methods for documenting the stock and flow of wood and non-wood forest products and services, as well as human uses thereof.

IV. Letter of Agreement (LOA)

The activities of the FRA Project are implemented through Letter of Agreement (LOA) established between FAO and FMB.

The LOA spells out, among others, the activities for which the funds provided by FAO shall be used, general conditions of the agreement, reporting system, terms of payments, and settlement of disputes.

The First LOA entered into force in August 2002 and terminated in March 2003. In this agreement, FAO made a financial contribution to FMB in the amount of US$96,000.

V. Objectives

1. Development Objective

To enhance the social, economic and environmental functions of the forest and trees resources through their sustainable management on the basis of better understanding of their qualitative and quantitative importance.

2. Immediate Objectives

a) to develop and reinforce capacities of the national forestry institutions in the Philippines to design, plan, implement forest inventory projects and manage information;
b) to design and carry out a forest inventory project that satisfies national needs in information and reliability and set up a monitoring system for future surveys; and
c) to design and set up a forestry information system to process field data and manage the generated information.

VI .Outputs

The expected outputs are the following:

  • National capacities of the forestry institutions to plan and implement forest inventory projects at the national level reinforced and consolidated.
  • National inventory of forests and trees outside forest resources initiated and monitoring system of these resources set up and materialized in the covered areas by the survey.
  • National information system on forest and trees outside forests and knowledge on the state and changes of resources for future management and updating of baseline information developed. Website with inventory finding and reports, training material and field manual created.

VII. Linkages

The FRA Project complements ongoing projects related to forest policies in the country:

  • Forestry Information System (FIS)
  • Development of Criteria and Indicators (C&I) for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) in the Philippines
  • Revision of the Master Plan for Forest Development (MPFD)
  • Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM)
  • Biodiversity Monitoring System

VIII. Project Approach

* adopts the systematic sampling design proposed by the Forestry Department of FAO.

* a grid of tracts will be permanently established at each 15’ longitude and 15’ latitude.

* 395 tracts are initially identified to be established nationwide. It is expected that all the sites will be visited in one year.

* a tract measures 1 km x 1 km and contains a cluster of four sample plots; each sample plot measures 20 m x 250 m.

* data will be collected through field work at the sample plots.

IX. Responsibilities

  • provide expert assistance to all phases of the assessment
  • host and support the electronic information system, including websites within its Forestry Information System (FORIS)


  • spearhead the implementation of the project
  • overall coordinating role, including to design and plan the assessment
  • organize field teams using staff at DENR regional offices
  • technical responsibility for biophysical measurements at all sites and field interviews at sites outside protected areas
  • evaluate the pilot assessment and initiate follow-on activities


  • provide spatial information required for the design and implementation of the assessment
  • provide staff and training for locating and establishing field plots using GPS and other measurement techniques
  • also maintain data generated by the project


  • lead the formulation of variables required to assess and monitor forest biological diversity at the sample sites
  • responsible for field interviews at sites falling in protected areas

DENR operating units (RFITs are created per DENR Special Order No. 2002-679)

  • provide staff for locating and establishing field plots and collecting data

FRA Steering Committee (Created per DENR Special Order No. 2002-448)
  • has the overall supervision of the project activities
  • review the progress of project activities
  • assess achievements against the planned results
  • analyze work plans for next periods
  • Recommend actions to take in case of identified constraints

FRA National Coordinating Office (Created per FMB Special Order No. 202-57)
  • plan the project activities

  • coordinate interventions of the involved national institutions and individuals
  • train field crew leaders
  • organize and supervise fieldwork and provide necessary logistics support to the field teams
  • assist in designing and developing the forest information system
  • process the field data and report project findings
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