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UN-REDD and INPE Train African Experts on Satellite Forest Monitoring

The UN-REDD Programme team at FAO teamed up with Brazil's Space Agency (INPE) to run a two-week intensive training programme on the use of remote sensing data for forest monitoring in Tanzania and Zambia.

This first UN-REDD-INPE training in 2012 aimed at improving the knowledge on the use of remote sensing (RS), information technology (IT) and modeling aspects of a satellite forest monitoring system. The knowledge gained will be valuable to expand monitoring of the entire national territory, which may become relevant for Greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories related to Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) or Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU). The training targeted country-level technical experts from Tanzania and Zambia including computer science experts as well as GIS forest experts responsible for the implementation of REDD+ and national forest inventory for national governments.

Hands-on training on remote sensing at INPE's training centre in, Belém, Brazil.
Photo credit: Alessandra Gomes

The first part of the training, which took place at INPE's training center in Belém, Pará, Brazil, in March, included hands-on exercises using Brazilian monitoring projects and data. The second part of the training focused on the application of forest monitoring techniques and image processing in the Zambian and Tanzanian country context. The training included practical exercises using a standardized set of Brazilian satellite data, and a thorough training based on country-specific data and imagery. Country-specific activities such as the assessment of the historical forest cover changes were also carried out during this training course.

As a follow up to this course, the UN-REDD Programme and INPE will work with countries to set up  portals for their autonomous national forest monitoring systems. The portals will allow all end-users to follow and have open access to available forest data, updated frequently to represent national forest conditions. The use of remote sensing data allows a high frequency of data availability as well as the possibility for wall-to-wall monitoring of the forests in the countries. The use of National Forest Inventory data will complete the remote sensing data in order to fulfill the reporting requirements of the UNFCCC.

A highly specialized technical UN-REDD Programme team at FAO, together with Geosolutions and INPE, is supporting country requests in the set-up of such a data analysis and web-based dissemination system. The ultimate goal of all these joint efforts is to build up the autonomous capacity of REDD+ countries to monitor their forest-related land cover, generating annual data on deforestation, forest degradation and forest conversions.

The Zambian and Tanzanian delegations at the UN-REDD-INPE training course.
Photo credit: Alessandra Gomes

More on INPE
INPE's centre in Belém is responsible for the centralized training on the Brazilian monitoring forest systems using TerraAmazon as the Brazilian software platform to support the estimation of the annual rate of deforestation (PRODES), the detection of forest degradation (DEGRAD), selective logging activities (DETEX) and the “near-real time” monitoring of the forest cover in support of more effective forest control and enforcement activities (DETER). TerraAmazon, developed by INPE integrates geographical information systems (GIS), image processing and database management functionalities.

INPE’s technology to support their Amazonia monitoring systems is composed of different operational and complementary projects which are mentioned above: DETER, DEGRAD, DETEX and PRODES. The Brazilian system is the largest and most robust operating forest monitoring system in the world and has been providing official annual rates of gross deforestation to the Brazilian government since the late 80s. Monthly information on forest cover changes in Amazonia has been provided to the government control and enforcement agency since 2004, allowing early measures to be taken to prevent further non-authorized deforestation activities. As open source products, DETER, DETEX, DEGRAD, PRODES and TerraClass are distributed free of charge, as all available INPE data.

In this issue


UN-REDD and INPE Train African Experts on Satellite Forest Monitoring

Malaysia and Uganda Join the UN-REDD Programme

Expert Meeting Kicks off Collaborative Process on Forest Governance Data Collection

UN-REDD Explores New Forest Monitoring Collaborations for REDD+
Reports & Analysis

REDD+ Capacity Building Country Reports Now Available

New Go-REDD+ Issue Explores Anti-Corruption Efforts in Forest Sector

Looking ahead

FCPF 12th Participants Committee meeting
27-29 June, 2012: Santa Marta, Colombia

REDD+ Partnership Meeting
1-2 July, 2012: Santa Marta, Colombia

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