East and Southern Africa Forest Observatory (OFESA)

Fostering regional data sharing


The objective of the East and Southern Africa Forest Observatory (OFESA) is to produce a comprehensive and harmonized regional dataset on the latest trends and threats to forests, and to make information useful and easily accessible to policymakers, funders, forestry practitioners and citizens.

By informing decision-making, OFESA supports five countries in the region – Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda – to meet their climate and environment targets. These include regional pledges such as the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100), a country-led effort to bring 100 million hectares of land in Africa into restoration by 2030, as well as global commitments under the Paris Agreement to achieve climate neutrality through forests.


Priority Themes


  • Forest Restoration: OFESA data aids in tracking ambitious forest restoration pledges made by countries in East and Southern Africa, such as Ethiopia’s goal to restore 22 million hectares and Kenya’s commitment to achieve 10% tree cover.
  • REDD+ Implementation: Four countries have REDD+ strategies, and all are developing national forest monitoring systems. OFESA supports these efforts by providing data for reference levels and forest degradation trends.
  • Forest Governance: OFESA contributes to strengthening forest governance through data sharing and a governance framework. It helps in improving forest management institutions and tenure rights.
  • Biodiversity Conservation: OFESA plays a role in biodiversity conservation within protected areas. It provides links to initiatives like BIOPAMA and offers data for informed decision-making.
  • Community Involvement in Monitoring: OFESA encourages low-cost forest monitoring involving communities, promoting their active participation in data collection and decision-making.
  • Standardization and Collaboration: OFESA seeks to collaborate with participating countries to update data and develop common standards for data collection methodologies.


Next Steps for OFESA


  • Collaboration with participating countries to ensure data updates and expansion.
  • Focus on enriching data and maintaining its relevance to address the identified priority areas effectively.


Watch how OFESA is fostering regional data sharing of forest:

Publisher: Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD)

Language: Enlgish

Year: 2021

Ecosystem(s): Forests

Location(s): Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda

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