Reviewing progress on building forest monitoring capacity in the Greater Mekong Subregion
The project Regional Forest Observations for Sustainable Forest Management was officially launched in 2018. It aims to build capacity for forest monitoring using advanced remote sensing technology and strengthen technical collaboration for forest observation among the Greater Mekong Subregion economies.
On 20 January 2021, over 20 people representing project partners in Cambodia, China, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam and the leading executing agency, Chinese Academy of Forestry, met online to review project progress.
Project review online meeting. Photo credit: APFNet
Led by an independent consultant, meeting participants reviewed project documents and held discussions with project stakeholders. Overall, project performance was rated positively by evaluators. Most project activities have made sound progress, including forest coverage mapping, development of a model for forest carbon estimation and annual forest change detection. Capacity building activities were successfully conducted in the early stages of the project, including two training workshops in China (Yunnan and Guangxi) and one online workshop. 
Progress reports and presentations. Photo credit: APFNet
Some activities, such as field surveys and scholar exchange among research institutes, were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was suggested that the project team make appropriate adjustments to the work plan based on current progress and develop alternative plans for activities that may be affected by the pandemic.