Title: Monitoring Tropical Deforestation for Emerging Carbon Markets
Editors: MOUNTINHO Paulo
Publisher: IPAM and ED (Environmental Defense )
Publication Year: 2005
JRC N°: JRC31742
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC31742
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The ability to quantify and verify tropical deforestation is critically important for assessing carbon credits from reduced deforestation. Analysis of satellite data is the most practicable approach for routine and timely monitoring of forest cover at the national scale. To develop baselines of historical deforestation and to detect new deforestation, we address the following issues: 1) Are data available to monitor and verify tropical deforestation?: The historical database is adequate to develop baselines of tropical deforestation in the 1990’s and current plans call for the launch of a Landsat class sensor after 2010. However a coordinated effort to assemble data from Landsat, ASTER, IRS, and other high resolution sensors is needed to maintain coverage for monitoring deforestation in the current decade and to ensure future observations; 2) Are there accepted, standard methods for monitoring and verifying tropical deforestation?: Effective methods for nearly-automated regional monitoring have been demonstrated in the research arena, but have been implemented for operational monitoring only in a few cases. It is feasible to establish best practices for monitoring and verifying deforestation through agreement among international technical experts. A component of this effort is to define types of forest and forest disturbances to be included in monitoring systems; and 3) Are the institutional capabilities in place for monitoring tropical deforestation?: A few tropical rainforest countries have expertise, institutions, and programs in place to monitor deforestation (e.g. Brazil and India) and US and European institutions are technically able to monitor deforestation across the tropics. However, many tropical countries require development of national and regional capabilities. This capability underpins the long-term viability of monitoring tropical deforestation to support compensated reductions. The main obstacles are budgetary, logistical and political rather than technical.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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