Continuity for worldwide forest monitoring secured

Space agencies coordinated under the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), last week endorsed and committed support for the Satellite Data Strategy of the Global Forest Observation Initiative (GFOI).

AusCover Director Dr Alex Held said it was a significant step in securing the long-term continuity of satellite data acquisition that will be needed to support the efforts of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with deforestation worldwide. AusCover supports the delivery, and calibration and validation, of a satellite-derived environment database to assist in the production of ecosystem-science products designed specifically for Australian conditions.

Alex said the Satellite Data Strategy would also underpin the full implementation of the GFOI and its acceptance by over 85 countries during the plenary meeting of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) in Istanbul this week.

‘This, in turn, will mark the start of our implementation work of the GFOI worldwide. Aspects of this new monitoring capability will also be highlighted at this year’s UNFCCC COP-17 (or conference of the parties) that starts in South Africa on 28 November,’ Alex said.

‘The implementation of this strategy is in no small measure a significant achievement for Australia, due to the role of several people from the Australian remote-sensing community in the process, and the potential role for TERN’s Auscover facility in this.

‘I am looking forward to moving to a new phase, where we can begin to realise this vision of establishing a robust and long-term forest and carbon monitoring program worldwide.’

For more information, contact Dr Alex Held.

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