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Implementation Strategy

GOFC-GOLD is being implemented through a suite of well-considered contributory projects. Each project must provide useful information to identified user communities with clearly stated requirements, and must be achievable using proven technology, even though a fully integrated system may not yet exist. Through these projects, data providers and users benefit from increased communication, and the expansion of technological capabilities. GOFC-GOLD has involved the users in the design of these activities in order to ensure adoption by the operational agencies at the completion of the pilot phase

Through this "learning and developing by doing" approach, GOFC-GOLD is working to:

  • creating and strengthening partnerships between space agencies and user agencies;
  • identify gaps and overlaps in space agency programs and make recommendations how these
    might be resolved;
  • increase operational use of earth-observation data for policy decision making at national, regional, and global levels;
  • ensure the provision of validated products which can be used to derive credible information concerning the forest/land cover component of the carbon budget for research and policy use;
  • promote common data processing standards and interpretation methods, which are necessary for inter-comparison of regional studies;
  • stimulate advances in the state of the art in the management and dissemination of large volume datasets and information from multiple sensors;
  • use data from multiple sensors, in combination with in-situ data, to produce validated prototype information products, which satisfy clearly identified requirements of user agencies;
  • enhance the use of earth-observation information products for forest land use and that other and cover types and enhance scientific research concerning forest biophysical processes; and
  • strengthen capacity building, at both science and at user level in the application and use (policy and management level) of remote sensing, in-situ and GIS products.

While much progress in these areas would no doubt take place independently, GOFC-GOLD is contributing to a more integrated global approach by:

  • providing opportunities to compare results from different sensors and different algorithms;
  • providing linkages to organizations such as GTOS that facilitate the sharing of in-situ observations;
  • promoting ground observation networks and campaigns to validate information products.

The Primary Themes
The essence of the GOFC-GOLD implementation strategy is to develop and demonstrate operational forest monitoring at regional and global scales by conducting contributory projects and developing prototype products within two primary themes:

  • Land Cover Characteristics and Changes
  • Forest Fire Monitoring and Mapping

The natural interconnections between these themes (see Figure 1) make the implementation of these two components significantly stronger than simply the sum of the individual parts.

GOFC-GOLD has assembled implementation teams for each theme to design and execute projects, and to develop consensus algorithms and methodologies for product generation and validation. These teams also develop and demonstrate procedures for improved data access by the user community.

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