The National Forest Inventory (NFI) is being implemented to assess and monitor the extent, state, and sustainable development of Canada's forests in a timely and accurate manner. Information is collected to a set of uniform standards, enabling consistent reporting across the country on the extent and state of Canada's land base to establish a baseline of where the forest resources are and how they are changing over time. In addition to providing consistent estimates for traditional forest inventory attributes, the NFI provides a framework for collecting additional data relevant to sustainable development, forest health, biodiversity and forest productivity.
The core design elements include:
- A network of sampling points across Canada to ensure complete coverage;
- Stratification of the sampling points by terrestrial ecozone with varying sampling intensity among the strata so that each ecozone is adequately sampled for statistical reliability;
- Estimation of area and other attributes from remote-sensing sources (photo plots) for consistency, timeliness and cost efficiency;
- Estimation of species diversity, wood volumes, and other desired information not available from remote sensing sources, from a ground-based subsample;
- Estimation of change from repeated measurements of sampling points at regular intervals.
The NFI provides data to inform domestic forest policies and positions, and to support science initiatives, and regional, national and international reporting commitments.