Update on Paraguay's REDD+ Progress
Paraguay presents the latest developments in its national forest monitoring system at the eighth UN-REDD Programme Policy Board meeting.
At the UN-REDD Programme's recent Policy Board meeting in Asuncion, Paraguay presented the beta version of its National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS). The development and implementation of a beta version of Paraguay’s NFMS began in February 2012 with a training workshop on land representation via satellite images in Asunción.
Paraguay’s NFMS achieves one of the requirements of the Cancun REDD+ Agreements, allowing the country to begin the first phase of its REDD+ implementation. The NFMS will also help prepare for Phase II of REDD+, where countries have to ensure that sub-national REDD+ demonstration activities are results-based. In order to achieve this, the NFMS aims to provide accurate and transparent information regarding several forest related indicators. The NFMS will also provide information on how Paraguay is addressing some of the REDD+ safeguards with particular reference to emission displacements. The UN-REDD Global Programme provided additional targeted support to promote a fast development and implementation of the beta version of Paraguay’s NFMS through capacity building activities.
The development of the NFMS has relied on FAO’s experience with similar projects already taking place in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Papua New Guinea and Viet Nam and with the collaboration of Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE). The satellite monitoring system and the GIS-enabled web portal were the two initial components developed as the first steps towards an autonomous and operational NFMS. The web portal will be used as a tool for sharing and disseminating information related to REDD+ and other forestry related activities.
The training workshop, which took place 27 February to 8 March, addressed the following topics: an introduction to remote sensing applied to forest monitoring; geospatial data-management; satellite image edition in TerraAmazon; and advanced processing of satellite images with OpenForis Toolkit (a set of open source tools developed by FAO). The main outcome of this training was the development of methodologies and techniques for mapping forest coverage and forest cover changes tailored to the country’s national reality and using only free and open source tools. These methodologies have been applied in an operational and iterative manner allowing the production of preliminary forest mask maps in Paraguay.
The development of Paraguay's NFMS web portal is still underway, however initial maps produced during the workshop and existing national data regarding forest coverage and changes in forest for some selected areas can be found here.
The NFMS web portal interface allows any user to visualize the maps, calculate statistics on deforestation and provide comments about the data. Depending on other national needs and requirements, the web portal also allows the communication of other types of information related to Paraguay’s forest resources.