Sharing information on forests in Africa

Information exchange and dissemination is one of the most important components of networking among scientific institutions. One step towards such networking is the establishment of an online Forestry Research Network for Sub-Saharan Africa (FORNESSA) Information Service (FORNIS).

The FORNESSA network is a non-profit, non-governmental, scientific organization open to forestry and forest-related organizations and individuals. It represents three sub-regional networks: the Association of the Forestry Research Institutions of Eastern Africa (AFREA), the Forest Research Network of the Conférence de responsables de Recherche Agronomique Africains (CORAF), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

The focus of the project will be on organizing and presenting forest-related scientific information from research institutions in all regions of Africa and making this information available through the online FORNESSA Information Service (FORNIS). By supporting and strengthening African forestry research, the network aims to contribute to the conservation, sustainable management, and utilization of forest resources in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The FORNESSA Information Service FORNIS ( is a web application that allows users to access scientific information on forests and trees generated by forest research institutions in Africa. Publications posted on the website may include:

General information about FORNESSA member institutions, scientists and their specializations, past and ongoing research projects in the various sub-regions.

Latest scientific information and knowledge such as scientific papers, technical reports, studies, and thesis work.

Other information targeting forest stakeholders (e.g. policy makers, forest managers, media people, and the general public). 

The language of these publications is suited for the general public, and thus FORNIS serves to disseminate scientific knowledge to wider audiences.

FORNIS is considered a regional platform of GFIS (Global Forest Information Service). Information provided to FORNIS is linked to GFIS through RSS feeds. In this way, information available in FORNIS can also be discovered at the global level via the GFIS gateway.

The International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) has acted as a strategic partner for the FORNESSA and its web service FORNIS, which was implemented by Metla (Finnish Forest Research Institute) in collaboration with the US Forest Service. In addition, the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) and the Korean Forest Research Institute (KFRI) have contributed financially to the project.

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