A consortium led by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is developing
methods for monitoring tropical forests using satellite data in a project
funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission. The
objective of the ReCover project is to develop beyond the state-of-the-art
service capabilities currently supporting the United Nations REDD programme
which is fighting deforestation and forest degradation in the tropical region.
Although REDD will probably not be officially accepted at the climate
conference in Cancun, several REDD-related activities are already under way in
the tropical region.
The methods to be developed in the
ReCover project will combine lower resolution but full area coverage optical
and radar satellite imagery with a sample of very high resolution satellite
data and ground data. The very high resolution imagery, with an accuracy
reaching to 0.5 metres, particularly supports monitoring of degradation and
increases the general reliability of the results.
areas of the ReCover project are in Mexico, Guyana, Brazil, Central Africa and
the Fiji Islands. For each of the study sites a local user is closely involved
in the method development. The consortium has nine research and industrial
partners, of which three are outside Europe.
The leading idea
behind REDD is that countries that are willing to reduce emissions from
deforestation will be financially compensated for doing so. The REDD process
requires a monitoring system in which satellite imagery will have a key role.
Monitoring of forest degradation introduces particular challenges for the
The ReCover project started in November
2010 and will last three years. Its total budget is about EUR 3.5 million.
PHOTO: Forest biomass map
of very high resolution satellite data (photo: VTT)
Tropical rainforests (pdf)