UN-REDD-INPE Training on National Forest Monitoring Systems
The UN-REDD Programme and Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) collaborate to help interested REDD+ countries set up their own national satellite forest monitoring systems.
The joint initiative between the FAO component in the UN-REDD Programme and Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE), entitled “Forest monitoring systems based on Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System techniques” held its first intensive training course 4-15 October at INPE’s headquarters in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, focusing on the insights of the Brazilian satellite forest monitoring system known as TerraAmazon. Trainers from the UN-REDD Programme, through FAO, and REDD+ country delegations from Ecuador, Guyana and Mexico participated in this pilot course aimed at supporting countries in their set-up of an autonomous national system for monitoring of deforestation and forest degradation.
|Hands-on training jointly delivered by the UN-REDD Programme and Brazil's INPE on the TerraAmazon system in the INPE facilities in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil. Credit: Felipe Lopes, FUNCATE |
REDD+ implementation will require advanced ways of monitoring forest carbon stocks nationally. In collaboration with Brazil’s INPE, the UN-REDD Programme will facilitate countries to get acquainted and trained with the operational Brazilian forest monitoring system in order to improve their own national technical capacity, providing the opportunity among REDD+ countries to set up independent satellite forest monitoring systems that will be valuable also as a tool to report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, following the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines and Guidance.
According to Ernesto Diaz Ponce Davalos from the National Forestry Inventory (NFI) Department in CONAFOR, Mexico, “Mexico already monitors its forests through image processing techniques and found out about the operational INPE forest monitoring system. This course gives Mexico the opportunity to learn in-depth about the Brazilian TerraAmazon system. Our system can explore the implementation of the TerraAmazon methodologies and its administration to help us improve our own forest monitoring.”
Brazil’s INPE is fully committed to sharing its experience in large-scale monitoring of deforestation that can help provide accurate and transparent data to the public. The Brazilian monitoring system and projects (TerraAmazon, PRODES, DETER, and DEGRAD) have been presented and are shared with the countries to help them advance their own forest monitoring.
Maria Janeth Delgado Aguilar from the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador who works on the country's SocioBosque project, praised the benefits of this training opportunity, “Ecuador will start monitoring deforestation with high frequency (every 15 days) as a component of its forest monitoring and wants to look into the possible existing tools to speed up in-country used image processing techniques which are rather slow." She also considered the many functionalities of the TerraAmazon platform which could be implemented in the existing Ecuadorian system to improve the quality control of mapping activities and the multi-user option to work with different users on the same satellite images.
Currently, monitoring systems in many countries are not accurate enough or simply non-existe nt for the monitoring of forest carbon stocks that will be required for REDD+ implementation. For this reason, countries are exploring how to design and implement an operational forest monitoring systems in a cost-efficient way. The INPE platform is freely available and provides options, tools and algorithms which can be adapted according to country needs.
Haimwant Persaud from the GIS Department in the Guyana Forestry Commission, considered the training very important for his country since they are in the phase of setting-up their own national Measuring Reporting and Verification (MRV) system and aim to have an operational forest monitoring system similar to Brazil. "Guyana is interested in testing if the TerraAmazon system can be applied. One of the great advantages I see in using the Brazilian system is the structure based on “rules”, allowing periodical statistics of mapping activities and thus reporting. Further testing in-country will be done to see if the system functions well for the Guyana conditions,” said Persaud.
To develop strong nationally-owned forest monitoring systems, technical and institutional capacity building is key. The UN-REDD Programme, through FAO, will take on intensive training together with key partners such as INPE, and will provide technical help and assistance for in-country training and implementation for satellite forest monitoring.
The goal of the collaboration in this capacity building effort is to train technical forest people and IT persons from interested REDD+ countries. This will allow them to use the system, adapt it to country needs and use training on the TerraAmazon system as a capacity building tool to enhance existing national forest monitoring systems.