In July, biodiversity specialist and blogger Tony Whitten wrote a post about not abandoning old-fashioned conservation techniques as an important method of taking positive action on climate change. One of the important old-school mitigation methods, he wrote, lies in protecting the world’s forests through reforestation and avoiding further deforestation.
Accordingly, a big part of the ongoing climate change discussion includes reducing emissions through deforestation and degradation (known as REDD). And the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization now offers a tool to help monitor forests in developing countries. Using satellite imagery and other data, the Global Forest Resources Assessment Portal displays the information on an interactive map.
Here’s more information from the Spatial Sustain blog (where I first spotted the FAO tool):
The system can offer data for 13,000 locations worldwide and tools that the FAO says will make it easy for governments to get a handle on the status of their forests.
“This system will not cover all information needs for REDD, but the remote sensing approach, together with field verification, will provide forest area changes in a robust and verifiable way – a crucial component for carbon accounting under REDD,” said Mette Wilkie who coordinates the Global Forest Resources Assessment Programme at FAO.