Mexico Consults FAO Experts to Enhance its Forests Monitoring and Reporting Through Better Image Processing Techniques
The UN-REDD Programme and the FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment provided support on the use of open source image processing tools for satellite forest monitoring and reporting.
Remote sensing specialists from the FAO Forestry Department’s Global Forest Resources Assessment and the UN-REDD Programme facilitated a workshop in Guadalajara, Mexico from 15-19 April. The workshop was organized by the National Forest Commission (CONAFOR - Comisión Nacional Forestal) through the Mexico-Norway Project on Reinforcing REDD+ Readiness in Mexico and Enabling South-South Cooperation. The workshop, attended by 15 experts representing CONAFOR, CONABIO (Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad), INEGI (Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Geografía) and the Mexico-Norway Project, was designed to improve satellite-based forest assessments and monitoring and measuring, reporting and verification systems through advanced image processing tools and change detection methods using open source software.
Participants were introduced and trained on a variety of open source tools for processing satellite imagery including GDAL, Qgis, Awk, R and the Open Foris Geospatial Toolkit developed at FAO. Mexican national data were integrated in practical example scenarios to test the tools and methodologies and produce meaningful results within the time limits of the workshop.
At the end of the workshop participants produced an updated forest cover map which, though based on existing national land cover data, automatically integrated changes detected since the time of the last map. Exercises, tutorials and technical steps can be found in the Open Foris website while more information on the Mexico-Norway Project can be found in http://www.mrv.mx/index.php/es/.