Enhancing carbon monitoring systems through satellite imagery
A new Global Forest Resources Assessment internet portal will help monitor forests and reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation
The FAO Global Forest Resource Assessment (FRA), along with the U.S. Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science Center, the South Dakota State University, and the European Union Joint Research Center, have recently launched an internet portal with worldwide, free and ready-to-use high-resolution satellite imagery and indexes of tree canopy cover.
For the past 30 years satellite remote sensing technology has improved the knowledge of our planet and now through this new portal landsat images will be available to contribute to sound and objective estimates of global forest and land cover change. The Global Forest Resources Assessment Portal offers samples of satellite data that will help monitor forests and help reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). Monitoring will be cheaper, more accurate and transparent for countries that want to participate in REDD.
The Global Forest Resources Assessment portal provides access to data in a global sample grid at 13,000 locations world-wide and provides tools for their interpretation. It enables the search, display and download of tile information, associated satellite imagery and auxiliary data. It also allows for international collaboration for the assessment of forest cover change for the periods comprising 1990, 2000 and 2005. The location of the samples can be viewed in Google Earth.
Enabling countries to have a robust monitoring system for carbon accounting is key in preparing for REDD. Measurement, reporting and verification systems of carbon must be in place for carbon accounting and payments to be carried out in an appropriate and transparent manner.
By combining the knowledge provided by these images on forest cover change with required field verification, the knowledge of the carbon dynamics not only will be enhanced but it will also help in measuring the multiple benefits of REDD and understand best the drivers of deforestation.
Access the Global Forest Resources Assessment portal here: http://geonetwork4.fao.org/geonetwork/srv/en/fra.home
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