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Forest inventories evaluated at the ISI99 conference

Friday's topics at the international statistical conference will include forest inventory methods, on which professor Erkki Tomppo from the Finnish Forest Research Institute will give a presentation. Forest inventories, introduced in the Nordic Countries as early as in the 1920s, have provided information about the forest area, the volume, structure and health of the growing stock, as well as the state of the forest. The information needs directed to the inventories today have grown due to the demands for increased efficiency in timber production and preservation of the forest ecosystems.

The demand for products of the wood-processing industry creates a pressure to intensify both the production of timber and the use of the forest resources. At the same time, maintaining the biodiversity of the forests has grown increasingly topical. Forests are also important for reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We need more detailed information about forests more frequently, and from ever smaller areas.

Forest inventories present challenges to the development of statistical methods. In his presentation professor Tomppo will highlight the statistical problems in the implementation of forest inventories, e.g. the multi-level spatial and temporal variation of the forests and the abundance of the variables an inventory must measure.

Today's inventories are made more efficient by combining field measurements with remote sensing data or other numerical spatial data. The increased amount of data makes the methods statistically even more interesting. From the very beginning, Finland has pioneered in the development of forest inventories.

60 presentations on Friday

A total of 60 presentations will be made at the conference on Friday, on topics ranging between statistics in art, industrial applications of statistical science and official statistics. In addition to forest inventories, the topics covered in the President's invited paper meeting, regarded as the most significant one in the conference, were the development of sample survey theory and its impact on official statistics, and trends in international statistics at the millennium.

Saturday's sessions will address topics like statistical issues in health policy, visualisation in data mining, business registers, new methods of statistical education, the role of women in statistics and missing data. A total of 56 presentations will be made on Saturday.

The topics to be discussed on Monday include, among others, probability, geographical information systems, surveys for measuring change over time, graphical models, extreme and record value statistics, statistical literacy and education, official statistics, reliability and measurement errors, small area estimates, statistical problems of transition and developing countries, population estimation and forecasting and quality control and statistics in industry.

Further information about the conference programme:
Jussi Melkas, tel. +358 9 1734 3200;
Virpi Viertola, tel. +358 50 568 7444;
Kristiina Niklander, tel. +358 50 373 6510

Short English abstracts at: http://www.stat.fi/isi99/proceedings.html


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