Remote sensing training for REDD+ in Tanzania
The UN-REDD Programme in Tanzania continues to assist the government there with the establishment of a national forest carbon Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system as one of its key tasks and collaborates with NAFORMA to provide training to achieve this.
As part of capacity building for REDD+, the UN-REDD Programme in Tanzania is collaborating closely with the Finish-funded National Forest Resources Monitoring and Assessment of Tanzania (NAFORMA) Programme to train national experts in remote sensing and forest mapping.
In early September, experts from several national institutions followed an intensive remote sensing and Earth observation training course in Morogoro to improve their understanding of remote sensing tools and their applications in forest monitoring. This was followed by a five-day training session on Open Source software which was held in Dar es Salaam. More than 15 Tanzanian technicians and forest officers participated in these training programs.
The main objective of the training sessions was to strengthen national capacity and knowledge concerning remote sensing of forests. It was based on using Open Source software for spatial data analysis and remote sensing cartography, both of which require strong national expertise. Satellite image interpretation was carried out by national technicians and officers, who had already benefited from training led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
According to Inge Jonckheere, who is supporting the UN-REDD Programme at FAO, "in Tanzania, where field data often are difficult to obtain, remote sensing tools represent a precious help in forest resource assessment."
The NAFORMA project is currently undertaking a National Forest Inventory of Tanzania, based on field samples comprising biophysical, environmental and socio-economical parameters identified by national users and stakeholders. NAFORMA will produce a 2009/2010 Land Use Land Cover map of Tanzania. UN-REDD Programme activities aim to achieve maximize synergy with the ongoing inventory and mapping work, to generate reliable figures for deforestation and forest degradation and the NAFORMA system of permanent sample sites will play a role in monitoring the future development regarding forest degradation in Tanzania.
In addition to the above in-country training, the global UN-REDD Programme, in collaboration with the Brazilian Institute for Space Research (INPE), is also organizing intensive training on the satellite forest monitoring system based on the INPE model. Experts from UN-REDD Programme member countries, including Tanzania, will be trained later this year in Brazil.