SilvaCarbon Newsletter: October 2019  
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Costa Rica – National Monitoring System Development

San Jose, Costa Rica / October 2019

Over the past several years Costa Rica has been developing a National Land Use, Land Cover, and Ecosystems Monitoring System (SIMOCUTE) with assistance from the SilvaCarbon and Climate Fellows programs and other partners. Once fully implemented, SIMOCUTE will supply the data for Costa Rica’s national forest monitoring system, inform land management and planning decisions, and satisfy the information needs for a variety of national and international initiatives, including REDD+. 

Costa Rica has made considerable progress in the development and implementation of SIMOCUTE and has taken ownership of the system. This year, the country announced the official kickoff of the first remeasurement cycle of its national forest inventory (NFI) using a more robust design that the SilvaCarbon program helped develop. Costa Rica is also hosting the PRE COP 25, a preparatory meeting for the Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC). During the meeting the country will hold a side event that will highlight the role of information, such as that produced by SIMOCUTE, in developing effective nature-based solutions to address socio-environmental challenges. 

Forest monitoring expert Randy Hamilton, in his role as Costa Rica Climate Fellow, has been assisting Costa Rican partners in the design of SIMOCUTE since 2015 in close collaboration with SilvaCarbon and others. In July, Hamilton coordinated a technical work session, supported by SilvaCarbon and delivered by a US Forest Service (USFS) statistician, to advance progress in the analysis of land use and land cover data. This data will provide consistent, robust information on the state and change of Costa Rica’s lands to meet key monitoring and reporting needs, including for example updating the Forest Reference Emission Level (FREL) to be used as a baseline for REDD+ results-based payments. This analysis will incorporate a software tool adapted by Costa Rican professor Mauricio Vega, who worked with USFS colleagues to modify the tool and has since been training Costa Rican colleagues to use the tool. 

According to the Director of Costa Rica’s National Center for Geo-environmental Information, Rafael Monge, “The value of SilvaCarbon's support to Costa Rica is reflected in the level of use and adoption of new technological tools by government institutions and academia that are participating in the development and implementation of SIMOCUTE.” Contact: Randy Hamilton,   

Africa  -  Asia  -  LAC  -  Global



Republic of the Congo – Update of MRV Needs Assessment 

Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo / September 2-4, 2019

A technical session was organized for the Republic of Congo (ROC) to analyze progress in setting up and operationalizing the national Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) system and identify existing gaps and needs, using information from the REDDcompass platform. The gaps and needs identified in the session served as a basis for the elaboration of a work plan and the attribution of roles and responsibilities in the ROC national MRV Cell. The activity was coordinated by the Republic of the Congo Climate Fellow, Rene Siwe. Contact: René Siwe,

Democratic Republic of the Congo – Defining and Developing a Monitoring Methodology for Forest Degradation

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo / August 13-14, 2019

SilvaCarbon, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MEDD) of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), held a two-day consultative workshop focused on developing definitions and methodologies related to monitoring forest degradation. The workshop represents a first, important step toward integrating forest degradation into the country's FREL, and involved more than 40 participants including representatives of different government institutions in the DRC, ROC, and Cameroon, as well as international, regional, and national universities and research institutions and technical and financial partners. Contact: Olivia Freeman,

Ethiopia – Land Use Change Mapping using Google Earth Engine – ISFL Support

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia / July 8-9, 2019

SilvaCarbon, in collaboration with Boston University, the World Bank, and Google Earth Engine (GEE), is working with the five BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes (ISFL) countries to assist in the production of robust activity data following ISFL requirements and best practices. For Ethiopia, the first stage of SilvaCarbon support will focus on building capacities needed to fully satisfy the requirements for bi-annual land cover change information through innovative use of the Landsat archive. The first training in this workstream was organized by the US Geological Survey (USGS) in Addis Ababa in July, and introduced the Ethiopian technical team to the LandTrendr and Continuous Change Detection and Classification (CCDC) mapping algorithms and the GEE platform to perform analyses of remote sensing data. Training technicians on CCDC and LandTrendr in GEE at the jurisdictional level will allow them to compare results and pick a methodology to scale up. A second objective of the visit was to plan further technical assistance at the jurisdictional level, in order to integrate regional land use mapping into the full scope of the GHG inventory. Contact: Sylvia Wilson,

Gabon – Google Earth Engine Training

Libreville, Gabon / July 3-4, 2019

In 2017 USGS and NASA began providing SilvaCarbon technical training in remote sensing to partners in Gabon, contributing to capacity building for the Gabonese Agency for Spatial Studies and Observation (AGEOS) and complementing previous USFS support for Gabon’s NFI. AGEOS is now the supporting agency for REDD+ in Gabon and is responsible for producing forest cover change estimates every two years as activity data for reporting. In July, a SilvaCarbon training in partnership with GEE introduced Gabonese participants to the GEE Code Editor platform, enabling them to practice using the tool, explore basic programming concepts, and learn about GEE data structures and methods, functions, and algorithms. Participants included representatives of AGEOS and other institutions in Gabon as well as government officials from Cameroon and ROC. Contact: Sylvia Wilson,

Cameroon – Training on Activity Data Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Nkolandom (Ebolowa), Cameroon / June 17-21, 2019

A training on GIS and activity data Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) was organized for technical partners in Cameroon, in collaboration with the German private remote sensing institute (GAF-AG). The event brought together 21 participants including members of the national MRV platform, technicians of the National Observatory of Climate Changes (NOCC), experts from the Remote Sensing and Land Cover Change operational unit (UTCCF), representatives from the Ministry of Forest and Fauna and Ministry of Environment, and students from university departments dealing with geospatial information. The training introduced basic QA/QC concepts for processing and interpreting satellite imagery for forest cover and biomass assessment, and incorporated the use of the University of Maryland (UMD) GLAD Forest Alerts system in the design of a protocol for data quality control. Contact: Olivier Sene,



Nepal – Partner Activity, SERVIR Hindu Kush Himalaya: Launch of Annual Land Cover Maps 

Kathmandu, Nepal / August 23, 2019

The Nepal Forest Research and Training Centre (FRTC) has been collaborating with the SERVIR Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) Hub to develop a methodology for consistent land cover monitoring. SilvaCarbon has been supporting the process by providing additional technical assistance to FRTC and to the field validation. In August, Nepal’s annual land cover maps for 2000 to 2018 were presented for public opinion and review, following inputs from different agencies on the classification systems. A paper outlining the methodological approach will be presented at the 2019 AGU Fall MeetingContact: Marija Kono,

Vietnam – Advanced Google Earth Engine and GLAD Integration for Forest Monitoring

Hanoi, Vietnam / August 5-9, 2019

Building on previous and ongoing collaboration with Vietnam, a SilvaCarbon training introduced Vietnamese technicians to an integrated approach to forest mapping that combines GEE with UMD GLAD data. The training provided advanced information, tools, and methods for monitoring forest resources at different scales using GLAD products and data integration in GEE platform. It also provided an opportunity for Vietnamese technicians to learn and explore the GLAD system for early forest alerts, and validate forest loss from the alert system. Contact: Vo Viet Cuong,

Lao PDR – Implementing the GLAD System for Forest Cover Change Mapping 

College Park, Maryland, USA / July 29-August 9, 2019

The Forest Inventory and Planning Division (FIPD) of the Lao PDR Forestry Department began collaborating with UMD in 2018 with an initial training on implementing the GLAD system for forest cover change mapping. After number of discussions on how best to integrate the GLAD system in the current forest cover mapping work and in support of the development of the country’s forest reference emission levels, it was agreed to organize a two-week training that will focus on helping FIPD access currently-available GLAD products, such as the 30-year time series woody vegetation structure product, and to conduct a sample-based analysis of forest change from 2005 to 2016. Technical experts from the F-REDD project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) also joined the training to help with the discussion around consistency and practical application of the GLAD system. The training was assessed as very useful by FIPD representatives, and therefore it is proposed to continue the collaboration, with emphasis on developing products that can support future FREL and REDD+ implementation. Photo credit: UMD. Contact: Marija Kono,

Vietnam – Forest Inventory QA/QC Training

Hanoi, Vietnam / July 22-Aug 2, 2019

The Vietnam Forest Inventory and Planning Institute (FIPI) is continuing to develop and improve the national forest inventory (NFI) with SilvaCarbon support through USFS. The most recent training on this topic focused on building the capacity of the quality assurance program, including skills in training new employees and conducting “hot checks” (continual training), “cold checks” (scored or graded evaluations), and “blind checks” (repeatability evaluations). The training built on previous collaboration with the USFS Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program, and provided an opportunity to troubleshoot emerging issues and further refine the QA/QC manuals and scoresheets. Additional photos from the training are available here. Contact: Vo Viet Cuong,

Regional – Forest Landscape Restoration Monitoring Webinar

Webinar / July 16, 2019

A two-hour webinar on forest landscape restoration (FLR) monitoring was organized on July 16 and led by the USFS Geospatial Technology Application Center (GTAC) in collaboration with SERVIR-Mekong. Participants in the webinar had a chance to learn the steps for developing a stand age map in Google Earth Engine and for validating the accuracy. The webinar was provided as follow-up support to a previous regional training for SilvaCarbon and SERVIR partners in Asia.
Contact: Marija Kono, 


Latin America and the Caribbean

Mexico – Analysis of Land Use and Land Cover Data Photo-interpreted from Sample Plots

Guadalajara, Mexico / September 17-18, 2019

SilvaCarbon experts Andrew Lister (USFS FIA) and Randy Hamilton (Costa Rica Climate Fellow) met with staff from Mexico’s National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR) to review and provide technical input on a new monitoring system the country is implementing based on the visual interpretation of land use from a systematic grid of plots using high or moderate resolution imagery. The monitoring system will provide information on historical and future changes in the country’s forests and other land uses. Following the visit, Lister and Hamilton met with staff and consultants for the El Salvador Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, who are developing and implementing a similar monitoring system, to provide technical guidance. Contact: Craig Wayson,

Colombia – NFI Development Workshop

Bogotá, Colombia / June 24-27, 2019

Colombia is working to strengthen its NFI in collaboration with SilvaCarbon and other partners. In June, a workshop was held to review and discuss the status of the existing NFI, concerns about its design, and a proposal for a redesign. SilvaCarbon experts Andy Lister (USFS FIA) and Chip Scott (retired USFS, METI contractor) participated and provided input. The workshop included a session on lessons learned from field crews who collected the information for the current NFI. Contact: Craig Wayson,

Mexico – Land Use Change Mapping using Google Earth Engine – ISFL Support

Guadalajara, Mexico / June 4-7, 2019

Under the ongoing SilvaCarbon-ISFL collaboration, the first stage of support planned for Mexico will focus on meeting the capacity needs of CONAFOR to use Landsat data to produce bi-annual land cover change information. In June, an initial training introduced CONAFOR to the LandTrendr and CCDC mapping algorithms and GEE, and provided a chance to revise the protocol for accuracy assessment of the activity data produced using these two algorithms. A training on GEE was delivered for specialists from CONAFOR, the National Biodiversity Commission (CONABIO), and academic institutions, and included the participation of officials from Guatemala with support from the World Bank. The visit also allowed an opportunity for further work planning and technical consultation with CONAFOR and CONABIO. Contact: Sylvia Wilson,

Regional – Belowground Carbon Workshop

Pellston, Michigan, USA / June 1-9, 2019

Every year for the past six years, USFS has organized a regional, intensive short course focused on belowground carbon measurement, hosted at the University of Michigan Biological Station in Pellston, Michigan. This year, SilvaCarbon supported the participation of four inventory specialists from Guatemala and Honduras. The workshop focused on methods of design, sampling, and analysis of soil carbon pools, and investigated of a diverse array of different soils, research sites, and laboratories, where participants gained hands-on experiences measuring belowground carbon. Contact: Rachel Sheridan,


Geo for Good Summit

Sunnyvale, California / September 16-19, 2019

SilvaCarbon, through USGS, participated in the 2019 Geo for Good Summit, a hands-on technical workshop hosted by the Google Earth Outreach team and designed for mapping and technology specialists in the public benefit sector. SilvaCarbon, with the participation of a USGS scientist as a presenter, led a session on the State of Forest MRV along with country representatives. SilvaCarbon sponsored the participation of nineteen country experts to enhance their capacities to use GEE. Contact: Sylvia Wilson,

Training of Trainers on State-of-the-Art Land Cover Change Monitoring Methods

Huntsville, Alabama / August 20-23, 2019

SilvaCarbon and SERVIR joined efforts to provide a train-the-trainer workshop on the use of open-source tools and improved methods for monitoring and estimating land cover change in Latin America. The main objectives were to: (1) expose the Latin American research community to state-of-the-art methods and platforms for mapping land cover change, and (2) present and discuss key applications of open-source tools and algorithms. The training was tailored for academics and researchers working in the region and covered topics including GEE basics and land use change algorithms such as LandTrendr and CCDC; data collection platforms such as SEPAL (developed by FAO) and Terra-I (developed by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, CIAT); the use of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data from Sentinel-1 for forest change detection; and SERVIR’s work in land use and land cover change applications. Contact: Sylvia Wilson,



Republic of the Congo – South-South Exchange on MRV Development and Implementation

Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo / October 15-19, 2019

A South-South exchange will bring together five African countries – ROC, DRC, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, and Madagascar – to enable technical specialists from each country to share and learn from each other’s experiences in developing their respective national forest monitoring systems. The activity will foster mutual learning focused on specific components of MRV systems including institutional arrangements, policy decisions, measurement and estimation, and reporting. It will also enable partners to identify priority issues where countries need support. The activity is being coordinated by the Republic of the Congo  Climate Fellow, Rene Siwe. Contact: Rene Siwe,

Republic of the Congo – QA/QC for Satellite Data Assessment 

Kintélé, Republic of the Congo / October 21-23, 2019

A training in early October will assist the ROC National Center for Forest Inventory and Zoning (CNIAF) to develop QA/QC procedures for the assessment of activity data based on remote sensing technology. The training will address a priority recommendation from a previous training by focusing on consolidating procedures and draft templates to guide QC/QA processes for activity data assessment in CNIAF. The activity is being coordinated by the Republic of the Congo Climate Fellow, Rene Siwe, and supported by SilvaCarbon. Contact: Rene Siwe,

Cameroon – Land Use and Land Cover Map Validation and Production of National Atlas of Land Cover Change

College Park, Maryland, USA / October 21-November 17, 2019

UMD has made significant improvements in its methodology for estimating forest cover and loss. Members of the Cameroon MRV framework are preparing to visit the UMD GLAD laboratory to better understand the methodological changes and improve their activity data assessment for REDD+ in Cameroon. The training will include the validation of activity data for 2000-2015 together with a more recent update for the 2015-2019 period. Maps and statistical data obtained through this effort will be used to produce the national Atlas of Land Loss and Change. Contact: Olivier Sene,

Cameroon – NFI Field Guide and Institutional Framework

Yaounde, Cameroon / December 9-10, 2019 (tentative)

SilvaCarbon will continue work with Cameroon’s Department of Forest Inventory and Forest Management (SDIAF) and National REDD+ Coordination unit to complete Cameroon’s NFI preparation phase. This effort follows the evaluation of the 2003-2005 NFI data generated with FAO, and the subsequent design of a new NFI roadmap and budget in 2018. Upcoming efforts will include a revision of the NFI field guide and targeted technical support to reinforce the NFI institutional framework. Contact: Olivier Sene,

Democratic Republic of the Congo – Training on Estimation of Forest Degradation 

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo / November 25-29, 2019

Building on a national consultation held in August 2019, SilvaCarbon and FAO will facilitate a training for DRC’s Department of Forest Inventory and Zoning (DIAF) focused on estimating forest degradation. The training will validate preliminary results, introduce complementary methods for estimating degradation, and train technicians on data post-processing. Contact: Olivia Freeman,

Zambia – Technical Assistance on Land Cover Map – ISFL Support

Boston, USA / TBD

SilvaCarbon is supporting ISFL countries to develop their technical capacities to produce robust activity data following ISFL requirements and best practices. In collaboration with Boston University and GEE, SilvaCarbon is supporting a Zambian technical team to travel to Boston and create its land cover map using CCDC. The team will also work on Zambia’s sampling design based on the change areas that are important to monitor for ISFL reporting. Contact Sylvia Wilson,



Indonesia – MRV Development – ISFL Support

Bogor, Indonesia / October 14-18, 2019

The ISFL Indonesia Program will pilot a jurisdictional landscape approach in the Jambi Province that will seek to improve landscape management and reduce emissions from the forest and land use sectors. In support of the MRV activities, the ISFL Program is collaborating with SilvaCarbon to identify and address the key technical needs for quantifying and monitoring changes at landscape level. As a first activity, ISFL and SilvaCarbon will organize: 1) two-day MRV data review and capacity needs workshop for Jambi Province, and 2) a three-day practical training for forest degradation mapping, focused on working with Google Earth Engine and open source algorithm (CODED). Contact: Marija Kono, and Sylvia Wilson,

Nepal – Collaboration with SERVIR to Improve Estimates of Forest Degradation due to Fire

Kathmandu, Nepal / November 25-29, 2019

As part of the development of the Regional Land Cover Monitoring System for the Hindu-Kush-Himalaya region, SilvaCarbon and SERVIR-HKH are collaborating with Nepal’s Forest Research and Training Center (FRTC) to improve estimates from forest degradation. This will enable FRTC officers to support the Emissions Reduction Program Document (ERPD) implementation process. The first training on this topic will focus on testing and enhancing an approach developed by FRTC for improving the estimation of forest degradation due to forest fires. Contact: Marija Kono,

Lao PDR – Forest Degradation Training 

Vientiane, Lao PDR / December 9-13, 2019

In June 2019, SilvaCarbon conducted a short scoping trip and initial training to identify opportunities for implementing remote sensing approaches for monitoring forest degradation and regrowth in Lao PDR. Four different approaches were presented and discussed with remote sensing specialists from different land use agencies and projects. A key concern was ensuring consistency with the current approach being used for forest change mapping. A final decision was made to focus on improving the current sample-based analysis approach, through support by UMD, while at the same time testing and piloting other methods. For this, SilvaCarbon will collaborate with European Commission Joint Research Centre and JICA to organize a longer training focused on improving estimates from selective logging and shifting cultivation. Contact: Marija Kono,

Latin America and the Caribbean

Mexico and Colombia – Working with Google Technical Team 

Sunnyvale, California / October 21-25, 2019

Technical teams from Mexico and Colombia will work alongside the GEE team at the Google Headquarters to develop an approach to the migration of their mapping processes using the GEE platform. Contact Sylvia Wilson,

Paraguay – National Forest Inventory Support

Asuncion, Paraguay / October 22-24, 2019

SilvaCarbon experts Andy Lister, Chip Scott, and Craig Wayson will spend three days working with the Paraguayan Forest Service to examine in detail carbon estimates from their first forest inventory cycle and provide technical assistance on second cycle design changes. Contact: Craig Wayson, 

Regional – Digital Reporting and Analytics Workshop

St. Paul, Minnesota, USA / October 22-24, 2019

Participants from Honduras and Peru will work with USFS experts to enhance their capacity in the creation of Story Maps and the use of the Tableau analytics platform to more effective communicate to stakeholders national forest inventory results on their web platforms. Contact: Rachel Sheridan, 

Regional – Regional Workshop on Deforestation and Forest Degradation Monitoring in the Context of REDD+

Jalisco, Mexico / October 29-31, 2019

SilvaCarbon is co-organizing and supporting the participation of Boston University in the "Regional Workshop of Deforestation and Forest Degradation Monitoring in the Context of REDD+: Lessons Learned and Challenges." This workshop seeks to identify the best practices and approaches implemented in the Latin American region to support the development and strengthening of forest monitoring systems through cooperation between nations. Contact Sylvia Wilson, 

Paraguay – UMD visit to National Forest Institute

Asuncion, Paraguay / November 20- 23, 2019

SilvaCarbon and UMD are organizing a Workshop on Mapping Forest Cover Loss and Gain Methods for the National Forest Institute (INFONA) technical experts and other institutions in Paraguay. UMD will also deliver technical assistance on creating cloud-free mosaics using Landsat imagery. Contact Sylvia Wilson,


GHG Inventory Workshop

Accra, Ghana / October 14-15, 2019

SilvaCarbon is partnering with the UNFCCC Secretariat and moja Global to hold a workshop on "Open source tools and collaborative platforms to support National Greenhouse Gas Inventories in the AFOLU Sector.” The workshop will bring together over 25 countries to discuss how new integration tools, in particular the Full Lands Integration Tool (FLINT), could help them to meet their policy and reporting needs. Contact: Sasha Gottlieb, 

GEO Week 2019 

Canberra, Australia / November 4-9, 2019

During the 2019 edition of GEO Week, SilvaCarbon will participate in a series of side events addressing SilvaCarbon topics that are contributing to global environmental and development goals. These side events are: "Delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals," "Connecting the Global and the Local: The SDGs and the Regional GEOs," "Satellite Remote Sensing of Greenhouse Gases and 2019 refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories," and "Global Forest Observation Initiative: Where Supply Meets Demand." More information about GEO Week 2019 is available here. Contact Sylvia Wilson,

USFS Forest Inventory and Analysis Science Stakeholder Meeting

Knoxville, Tennessee, USA / November 19-21, 2019

Every two years the USFS Forest Inventory and Analysis Stakeholder Science Meeting (FIA meeting) brings together domestic and international forest scientists, managers, and stakeholders to foster innovation and knowledge exchange focused on the analysis, augmentation, and delivery of forest inventory information. SilvaCarbon is sponsoring a group of country partners to participate in the 2019 FIA meeting, and working with FIA to organize a field tour and international session designed for SilvaCarbon participants. Contact: Sasha Gottlieb,

AGU Fall Meeting 2019

San Francisco, California / December 9-13, 2019

SilvaCarbon and SERVIR are partnering to organize a session at the AGU Fall Meeting entitled: “New frontiers in land cover change mapping and its implications for Forest Carbon Financing.” This session will explore key issues and potential solutions related to reporting systems, such as: (1) improving methods for determining the relative importance of different drivers for deforestation; (2) improving estimates of degradation and restoration; and (3) improving integration of forest change data with other land use change. Contact Sylvia Wilson,


SilvaCarbon has been supporting collaboration between the Nepal Forest Research and Training Centre (FRTC) and SERVIR by providing technical backstopping to FRTC. As a result of this collaboration Nepal developed new annual land cover map for 2000-2018. The above paper outlines the technical approach, and will be presented at the AGU Fall Meeting by lead author Raja Ram Aryal. The technical support was funded by SilvaCarbon and delivered by SIG-NAL and USFS GTAC. The SilvaCarbon Asia Regional Coordinator, Marija Kono, helped to facilitate the process.


The Partner Profile interview series recognizes SilvaCarbon community members from around the globe and provides a platform to share their stories.

Somphavy Keoka

Lao PDR Department of Forestry, Forest Inventory and Planning Division

What is your job, and how did you end up in this field? 
I work at the Forest Inventory and Planning Division (FIPD) of the Department of Forestry (DOF) in Lao PDR, as National Forest Monitoring System administrator and Remote Sensing / GIS officer. I have been working here for about 10 years. 

I majored in information technology (IT), and as soon as I heard that FIPD was recruiting an IT Officer I applied immediately. As soon as I started working here, I realized my knowledge on IT was a big help in remote sensing and GIS applications.

What are you most excited or passionate about in your work?  
FIPD’s role is to provide forest resource information to DOF such as forest cover, forest type maps, national forest inventory (NFI) etc. It is important to me because by working here I can experience new techniques and technology uses in forestry, and help FIPD apply those applications to support and help the country manage its forest resources better in the future.

By working here I am not only able to assist FIPD, but also to utilize my knowledge to its full potential. I get to travel around the country teaching and introducing Remote Sensing and GIS techniques to local officers, which is a really important thing to do here to better manage forest resources. The most exciting thing about this work is that there is no limit to what I can learn, as there will always be new techniques or technologies to be learned.

What is the greatest challenge you face in your work, and what is the greatest opportunity? 
The greatest challenge is the high workload, which is normal here due to one officer having many different duties and there being very few specialists. The greatest opportunity is that I get to learn new things in different countries, and utilize what I have learned to help FIPD.

What has your experience been like working with the SilvaCarbon program? 
Collaboration with SilvaCarbon is a significant help. For example the data on tree cover gain and loss from SilvaCarbon are used in our latest Forest Type Map. Furthermore, previous trainings that SilvaCarbon provided were a big help in solving the difficult challenge of distinguishing Regenerating Vegetation. There is also an upcoming training on forest degradation, which is important as many countries are facing this issue.

As you consider the next five years, what do you hope to accomplish in your work? 
A few of my future goals for the next few years include leading a team in some capacity. I’m excited about the prospect of working with FIPD on developing projects with SilvaCarbon and other partners. I’d also like to develop my skills to aid local officers around the country.

Have you had a role model, mentor, or other important person in your life who has significantly influenced who you are?
The person I look up to and who has been a role model for me is my dad. He has his own way of teaching his children, and he taught me that if you want something you have to earn it not ask for it. He is very honest and never takes advantage of those less fortunate, and is always looking to help those people. He is the first person I always ask for advice if I face difficulties, as he has similar experience with my work.

What was the last book you read? 
"Validation and Registration of the Project on REDD+ through Participatory Land and Forest Management for Avoiding Deforestation in Lao PDR," a Technical Cooperation Report by JICA.

What is one piece of advice you would give to young professionals in your field?
Never stop learning and doing what you love, and always look for advice from people around you because not all problems can be solved alone.

About SilvaCarbon 

SilvaCarbon is a multi-agency technical cooperation program of the US Government to strengthen the capacity of selected tropical countries for measuring, monitoring, and reporting forest and terrestrial carbon. Agencies that have contributed to SilvaCarbon include the US Agency for International Development (USAID), US Department of State (DOS), US Forest Service (USFS), US Geological Survey (USGS), US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Smithsonian Institution. Program funding is provided by USAID and DOS. Program implementation is led by USFS, USGS, NASA, and EPA.

SilvaCarbon is also the primary US Government contribution to the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI), a body of the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO). SilvaCarbon co-leads the GFOI capacity-building component together with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 

For more information visit the SilvaCarbon website at
USAID, US Dept. of State, USFS, USGS, EPA, NASA, NOAA, Smithsonian
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