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REDD Fast Logging Assessment & Monitoring Environment

Final Report Summary - REDD-FLAME (REDD Fast Logging Assessment & Monitoring Environment)

Executive Summary:
The REDD-FLAME project focuses on monitoring tropical and sub-tropical forest areas with high and very-high resolution Earth Observation satellites. The aim is to detect logging activities at an early stage and provide this information rapidly after satellite observation. The system is conceived as a high-resolution add-on for existing (semi-)operational low- to mid-resolution systems covering entire countries or regions (wall-to-wall mapping), providing hot-spot monitoring for areas at highest risk of deforestation. The system has been designed primarily to use Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data, but as part of the project, an approach using optical remote sensing data is implemented in parallel.

A wide range of users was identified, including local communities, forest managers, enforcement agencies, policy makers, monitoring and reporting agencies and logging and mining enterprises.

Based on requirements analysis in three countries on three continents, a service concept and high-level system design were elaborated. For each dedicated implementation of REDD-FLAME, the service will be tailored through the selection by users of Information requirements. Events Information comprises change map products that show the location of suspected deforestation phenomena which have occurred during a specific period, usually the most recent interval between acquired images. Trends Information comprises change map products that show patterns of cumulative land cover change over extended periods.

In the second year of the project, REDD-FLAME was implemented and evaluated in Indonesia, Brazil and Mozambique to determine its potential as part of a national forest monitoring centre. Field campaigns were conducted to assess the effectiveness and accuracy of the system.

The REDD-FLAME project has successfully demonstrated a pre-operational system for the detection of logging activities at an early stage using Earth Observation data. Recent small clearings in tropical and sub-tropical forests can be detected both in optical imagery, given good weather conditions and data acquired at the correct time of year, and in SAR data time series. Resultant change map products readily improve knowledge of forest disturbances and allow quick location of these features on the ground. They can also provide information about the age of changes. Furthermore, the project has fostered potential for sustainable provision of monitoring services in the host countries and elsewhere.

Traditionally, REDD remote sensing projects focus on MRV: Measurement, Reporting and Verification. This provides a means to periodically monitor progress towards reduced rates of carbon emission, providing the feedback loop to authorise the release of REDD incentives. However, a complete REDD approach also requires proactive measures to actively contribute to the reduction of deforestation on a continuous basis; REDD-FLAME has demonstrated a means to make an important contribution to this aspect of the programme.

The results and experiences from each of the countries involved in the project were presented at Final Workshops, organised by host partners to showcase the system and make recommendations for its operational implementation. With the participation of representatives from government, NGOs, local stakeholders and experts in the field of sustainable development of tropical forest ecosystems, the workshops gave an ideal opportunity to exchange knowledge and ideas, strengthen links between these groups, and build on the capacity for forest monitoring and management in each of the host countries.

Project Context and Objectives:
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Project Results:
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Potential Impact:
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List of Websites:

Project Co-ordinator:
Tim Pearson
Remote Sensing Applications Consultants Ltd
The Long Barn, Sutton Manor, Bishop's Sutton, Alresford, Hampshire, SO24 0AA, UK
tel.: +44 (0)1962 736150