Country participants learn to use Collect Earth forest monitoring software

©FAO/Giulio Napolitano/UNFAO8 December 2016, Rome – Some 100 participants from countries including Cuba, Papua New Guinea, South Africa and Tunisia have been training in the application of innovative software that will help them monitor the state of their forests and ultimately help to tackle deforestation and climate change.

A week-long capacity-building workshop in Rome HQ, part of National Forest Monitoring Systems for REDD+ Reporting, included several case studies from countries that have had successful hands-on experiences in using Collect Earth software.

This free and open-source software for land monitoring was developed by FAO, with Google Earth and Earth Engine, to facilitate access to multiple archives of satellite imagery from almost any location in the world.

For Ruth Turia, head of the Papua New Guinea delegation, applying Collect Earth software has allowed foresters in her country to gather their own data for national forest monitoring rather than relying on information from other sources as they had done in the past.

“For us, Collect Earth has been really useful, and this time we want to do that monitoring work ourselves” said Turia, Director of Forest Policy and Planning for the Papua New Guinea Forest Authority.

Collect Earth provides access to archives offering very high spatial resolution imagery including Google Earth and Bing Maps as well as those with very high temporal resolution imagery, such as Google Earth Engine.

Collect Earth is a user-friendly tool for land-monitoring that can help countries to also assess land-use change, natural disasters and management of scarce resources.

Such monitoring can help countries report on greenhouse gas emissions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and to achieve their plans under the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) initiative – a global program that rewards developing countries for taking measures to mitigate climate change.

For countries to reap the financial rewards of REDD+, they must be able to monitor, report and verify (MRV) their mitigation measures. This requires sufficient capacity to measure and monitor changes in land-use in order to show improvements are being made against a base line.

With Collect Earth, anyone who has access to the Internet can begin to meet these MRV requirements.


last updated:  Thursday, December 8, 2016