GSE FM REDD

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Overview

GSE FM REDD Extension in Republic of Congo and Republic of Gabon

Global Monitoring for the Environment and Security (GMES), is a joint initiative of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission (EC). The GMES Service Element on Forest Monitoring (GSE FM) which has been led by GAF AG since 2003 has aimed at providing operational forest services to the forest user community by including them in the design and implementation of the services. One of the main policy segments that the GSE FM supports is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its related Kyoto Protocol. Since 2006, GSE FM became involved in the post-Kyoto Protocol policy process "Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation" (REDD) in developing countries. Thus a REDD Pilot Project was initiated in Cameroon in 2007, with stakeholder endorsement and financing from ESA, the German Development Bank-KfW and GTZ. The REDD service for Cameroon offered important deforestation assessment information for the country based on forest maps for 1990, 2000 and 2005/6 using national (wall-to-wall) EO data coverage; furthermore methods for undertaking a national biomass inventory were developed and capacity building/technology transfer to the counterparts was undertaken. These achievements permitted the GSE FM to develop additional REDD Pilot Projects in the Congo Basin region. In December 2009 the European Space Agency (ESA) awarded GAF AG and its partners a contract to implement GSE FM REDD services in the Republic of Congo and Gabon.

The GSE FM REDD Service Portfolio encompasses the following:

  • Stakeholder Analysis: Identification of stakeholder needs in terms of specific policy drivers, working practices and decision making cycles as well as the technical specifications for reporting
  • Implementation framework for REDD: support to develop institutional frameworks for REDD at a national level
  • Reference scenarios/Estimating deforestation: remote sensing analysis which will provide forest area maps and forest cover change maps applicable for a national REDD scenario
  • Technology Transfer/Capacity Building to the country: programmes to ensure that project methodologies and results are provided to the national and regional counterparts

Throughout the implementation of the Service Portfolio, the main guidelines for provision of these services will be based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Good Practice Guidance (GPG) of 2006. Results of these activities will support the countries with their international negotiations in the UNFCCC policy development process.

Current Services:

  • Deforestation mapping: The service provides forest cover and forest cover change maps for the periods 1990; 2000; and 2010. The forest cover maps are based on the application of Earth Observation (optical and RADAR) and in-situ data. Forest cover change for the periods 1990 – 2000 and 2000-2010 will be estimated, with the changed areas further classified into IPCC compliant categories: cropland; grassland; wetland; settlement and other land. These products are basic inputs for the calculation of “activity data” for greenhouse gases estimations in AFOLU. “Activity data” refers to the extent of an emission removal; in this case the area extent of deforestation.
  • Degradation mapping: The degradation service will focus on forest degradation due to logging; that are areas of forests undergoing selective logging characterized by logging trails; gaps and logging decks. Forest degradation requires more frequent mapping than deforestation assessment, since degradation signals are lost quickly. The Spectral Mixture Analysis (SMA) technique (SOUZA ET AL. 2005) will be applied on high resolution EO data to categorize “intact” and “non-intact” forest areas. The difference between intact and non-intact forest will be based on the threshold for crown cover in the national forest definition. If no national definition is available, an international definition that meets the requirement of the REDD process will be adopted. Field surveys will be carried out to assess the accuracy of the degradation products.
  • Capacity Building: In addition to the services provided, capacity needs for the implementation of a REDD scheme are assessed and documented in collaboration with the UNFCCC Focal Points. Furthermore, capacity building training seminars and workshops on remote sensing; GIS; and image interpretation will be organized to train local counterparts on the techniques employed. In cases where the level of the local counterparts does not permit them to assimilate the methodologies employed, training will be tailored to meet (match) their requirements (level).

Benefits to the User:

  • The GSE FM REDD services lay down the framework for national forest monitoring. A wall-to-wall approach will be implemented to monitor forest cover in selected areas which can then be later integrated (nested) into a national approach
  • The results of the various methodological steps and the outputs will assist in testing the feasibility of long term and national level monitoring of deforestation and eventually assist in defining issues for degradation. As these are key inputs for both the policy and scientific community the GSE FM REDD service will be a direct contribution to the assessment of implementing best practices for REDD. The activity will facilitate dialogue on technology transfer related to REDD through involvement with regional organisations. The results of the GSE FM REDD services will provide the country with both the technical steps and empirical information to support their negotiations during the COP meetings of the UNFCCC.
  • Local counterparts will receive training on the technical/methodological steps employed in production of the REDD services.

 

Financed by Consortium led by

Service to Republic of Congo

Objectives

The objective of the REDD Pilot Project in the Republic of Congo was to set up a pre-operational system for monitoring forest cover and forest cover changes within the REDD+ framework. This involved mainly the use of EO data (Landsat, DMC, RapidEye, and SPOT) to analyze forest area and land cover changes; testing different methods for mapping degradation; strengthening the capacity of local personnel in deforestation/degradation mapping and the overall REDD+ process. The proposed services were provided by GAF AG in close collaboration with the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Forest Economy (MDDEF) in the Republic of Congo (National REDD Coordination).

Main Achievements

Service cases were developed for Republic of Congo (RoC) focussing on the following REDD+ services: Deforestation Mapping, Degradation Mapping and Capacity Building. The project was further supported by additional funds of the GEOFORAFRI project to complement the 2010 products to cover the entire national territory.

Deforestation Mapping

The service provided forest area and forest area change maps for the periods 1990; 2000; and 2010 (see Figure 1). The forest area maps are based on the application of Earth Observation (optical and RADAR) and in-situ data (see Figure 2). Forest area change for the periods 1990 – 2000 and 2000-2010 were estimated, with the changed areas further classified into IPCC compliant categories: cropland; grassland; wetland; settlement and other land. These products are basic inputs for the calculation of “activity data” for greenhouse gases estimations in AFOLU.

GSE FM REDD Services and Products

Figure 1: Forest cover and forest cover change maps for Republic of Congo

GSE FM REDD Extension

Figure 2: Field Mission in 2011 around the area of Ouesso (Republic of Congo) to three areas (preselected by means of RapidEye data) to support the EO based production and the GIS part of the training.

Degradation Mapping

During the GSE FM REDD project different methods for mapping degradation have been tested (focussing on forest degradation due to selective logging). The bi-temporal change detection based on Spectral Mixture Analysis seems to be promising for restricted temporal coverage, but appropriate satellite scenes; e.g. for monitoring degradation in tropical forests over the last decades. (see Figure 3)

However, as it is expected that for future applications the temporal resolution will increase significantly, especially with availability of planned Sentinel-2 data, degradation monitoring based on temporal trajectory analysis of time series data was performed in phase 3 of the project.

GSE FM REDD Services and Products

Figure 3: New logging activities between February and April/May 2013 - calculated difference green vegetation fraction index (aggregated to 50 by 50 m)

Capacity Building

In addition to the services provided, capacity needs for the implementation of a REDD scheme were assessed and documented in collaboration with the UNFCCCC Focal Points. Furthermore, capacity building training seminars and workshops on remote sensing; GIS; and image interpretation were organized to train local counterparts on the techniques employed. Examples include the training of Ministry of Sustainable Development and Forest Economy (MDDEF) staff in RoC in both basic theory of Remote Sensing (RS)/GIS and collection of necessary in situ data to complement the EO data, as well as more advanced RS/GIS training such that 2-3 staff received training at GAF AG and SIRS in Europe.

GSE FM REDD Services and Products GSE FM REDD Services and Products

Service to Republic of Gabon

Objectives

The proposed service provided by SIRS (SYSTEMES D'INFORMATION A REFERENCE SPATIALE, France) will form the basis of a wall-to-wall nation-wide forest cover monitoring system for REDD in the Republic of Gabon. In the framework of this project, the service provider intends to develop a deforestation and forest degradation mapping service. In close collaboration with the user organisation AGEOS (Agence Gabonaise d'études et d'observations spatiales, Gabon) and expert consultant organisations (e.g. IRD, CIRAD, CEMAGREF). This includes a number of activities ranging from an analysis of the user´s requirements, the development of a service sustainability plan, the establishment of a robust validation method, the provision of products for forest cover change and finally the building of local capacity for greenhouse gas monitoring compliant with IPCC guidelines.

Activities

The planned activities are:

  • Mapping of the Gabon forest cover for 1990, 2000 and 2010
  • Mapping of the forest cover change (classified into IPCC compliant Land Use classes) between 1990/2000 and between 2000/2010
  • Degradation Mapping products for 2011 and 2012
  • Capacity Building – Capacity Building and Training for the User organisation (AGEOS)

Expected Results

  • Deforestation Mapping
    • Geometric accuracy <30 meters
    • Maps with a Mnimum Mapping Unit of 1 ha
    • Thematic accuracy of 85% +/- 5% for forest/non-forest classes
  • Capacity Building activities
  • Establishment of a validation protocol for Carbon accounting in REDD

Project Partners