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Land Cover Implementation Team member wins MacArthur Foundation Award

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation named GOFC-GOLD Land Cover Implementation Team member Ruth DeFries as one of 24 fellows for 2007. Ruth DeFries is based at the University of Maryland. As an environmental geographer, Ruth explores the relationship between the Earth’s vegetative cover, human modification of the landscape and the biochemical processes that regulate the Earth’s habitability, using both satellite data and field work.

Contact: Ruth DeFries

GOFC-GOLD working group develops REDD Sourcebook

The GOFC-GOLD working group on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in Developing countries (REDD) has drafted a Sourcebook on methods and procedures for monitoring, measuring and reporting. The REDD Sourcebook is open review at Several side events have been held to provide updates on recent Sourcebook developments and next steps for its further evolution.

The Sourcebook emphasizes the role of satellite remote sensing as an important tool for monitoring changes in forest cover, and provides clarification on the IPCC Guidelines for reporting changes in forest carbon stocks at the national level. It provides a consensus perspective from the global community of earth observation and carbon experts on methodological issues relating to quantifying carbon impacts of implementation activities to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation in developing countries (REDD).

Contact: Martin Herold

GOFC-GOLD Implementation Teams help draft Essential Climate Variables

GOFC-GOLD implementation team members have contributed to the draft reports on Essential Climate Variables (ECV) for Land Cover and Fire. Global Terrestrial Observing System is producing a report on the Essential (terrestrial) Climate Variables as requested by UNFCCC SNSTA.

The reports are available at the Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS) website:

ECV T13: Fire

ECV T09: Land Cover

Contact: Antonio Bombelli

GOFC-GOLD West Africa Regional Network Launched

The GOFC-GOLD West Africa Regional Network (WARN) has been established. WARN was kicked off at the West Africa Regional Network Meeting on Earth Observation and Environmental Change, held in conjunction with the GOFC-GOLD Workshop on Requirements for Fire Early Warning Systems in Africa at the University of Ghana (Legon) in Accra, Ghana in November 2007.

Contact: Cheikh Mbow

GOFC-GOLD contributes to GEO Ministerial Summit

GEO Ministerial Summit GOFC-GOLD participated in the fifth Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Ministerial Summit held 30 November 2007, in Cape Town, South Africa. The Summit focused on Earth Observation for Sustainable Growth and Development. GOFC-GOLD emphasized the importance of Earth Observation Continuity.

The earth’s vegetation has been mapped regularly for the last several decades. This land cover information is used by both scientists and natural resource managers for a variety of purposes to numerous to list here. For high resolution data we have been able to rely mainly on a single source of freely available global observations. By the end of this decade, however, this source of data may no longer be available to the GTOS and others.

Contact: Michael Brady


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