National Forest Inventories (NFI) play a critical role in sustainable forest management, economic development, and carbon accounting, and many countries throughout the world are realising substantial benefits from long-lived NFI data. A robust sampling design, detailed measurement protocols, and a valid and well-planned calculation pathway are key to ensuring that the full benefits from NFI investments are realised.
Following on from our work with the Guyana Forest Commission (GFC) in 2018 where we developed a sampling design and contributed to field measurement procedures Margules Groome has been working with GFC again to support the development of data storage and calculation solutions for the Guyanan NFI data.
Margules Groome has chosen to build these solutions using the open source Open Foris (OF) software tools. Open Foris is a suite of tools developed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) that are specifically designed for use with forest inventory data. OF Collect provides a valuable data capture application that can be used both in the field and in a desktop environment and is available for all popular operating systems and as an Android app. OF Collect also allows users to carefully configure a database schema for their inventory used to store data and enforces checks and validation routines that help improve the quality of the valuable data collected in the forest. Back in the office OF Collect offers a modern interface for data checking, corrections, and approval of field data for subsequent inclusion in calculations and reporting.
Margules Groome and GFC have developed a calculation pathway for the Guyana NFI using OF Calc. Within this framework the sampling design, areas of interest, reporting levels, and statistical estimators can be specified in an easy-to-use and transparent environment. Once these are specified OF Calc integrates with the statistical computing language R where developers can write custom modules to compute useful variables. In the Guyana NFI the variables calculated included biomass, carbon stocks, biodiversity metrics, and commercial volumes.
Once computed these variables can be analysed and visualised in a code free interface by users using the online analytical processing tool Saiku so that users can rapidly prototype their analysis and produce useful graphics and queries.
This project is part of Margules Groome’s commitment to supporting NFI’s in developing countries and contributing our extensive in-house expertise in forest inventory and remote sensing to assist our international partners. If you are interested in discussing your forest inventory or remote sensing needs, we welcome your enquiries through our website or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.