Forest Assessment Simulator

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The Forest Assessment Tool and Forest Simulator are free Excel applications for local level (as village) forest assessment and planning. These applications are built for promoting sustainable forest management and wood production and they are a partial outcome of NAFORMA project (2009–2013) implemented in Tanzania with technical support from FAO and FAO-Finland Forestry Programme. The current version is built on the top of MS Excel (version 2007 or newer), and the files are shared under the FAO Open FORIS Initiative (http://openforis.org/wiki).

The main purpose of the Forest Assessment Tool is to provide a simple application for storing forest assessment data collected from field sample plots and computing key results for this assessment. The assessment data can be recorded in one forest area or stratified area, in the latter case for instance in forest management units.

Because this application was originally tailored into the tropics were the number of tree species can be high, the results are computed by tree species groups. This means that the user should predefine the principles how to group the tree species, and thus also give names for these groups.

The second tool, the Forest Simulator, is applicable for the projection of the forest development under different harvesting regimes. This application uses results from the assessment module as the input data. One of the main result variables is the Annual Allowable Cut (AAC) that can be determined both graphically and numerically. The simulator is based on MYRLIN model (http://www.bio-met.co.uk/myrlin) which code has been developed further by FAO expert for providing results for development of growing stock in terms of biomass and carbon.

The program’s Visual Basic for Application (VBA) code is open, and the apps are provided freely as a service towards improving the sustainable management of natural tropical forest. However, it is a condition of use that software is not incorporated in whole or in part into any commercial product that is subsequently re-sold.


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