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As of: November 2016

National forest monitoring and information systems for a transparent REDD+ process

Objective and activities

The international cooperation project supports the process for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in 18 partner countries. To this end, it fosters the exchange of experience, knowledge transfer and the building of capacities to apply forest monitoring software tools developed by the project. A new MRV tool, “Collect Earth”, was developed by the project in cooperation with Google Outreach, Google’s non-profit programme. The software expands the monitoring systems of target countries through an easy-to-learn procedure for evaluating freely available satellite images. In this way partner countries can better monitor their REDD+ activities and improve reporting to the UNFCCC with regard to greenhouse gas emissions and their reduction. In addition, the MRV system establishes an important basis for the transparent implementation of all REDD+ measures (e.g. the development of reference levels).

State of implementation/results

  • IThe open-source software Collect Earth, which was newly developed by the project, is being tested/introduced in almost all target countries. To support this process, numerous training courses are taking place in the target countries and at the FAO in Rome.
  • The software uses the ‘Google Engine’ and freely available satellite images to facilitate the classification of land-use forms and the monitoring of land-use changes.
  • The FAO presented the Collect Earth software at various events such as an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Expert Meeting in Australia in April 2016, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) Expert Meeting in Geneva in 2015, a side event at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Working Party on Land Administration (WPLA), and an FAO/UN workshop in Baku, Azerbaijan in October 2015.
  • A memorandum of understanding between the FAO and Google was signed in Paris in December 2015 at COP 21.
  • There is close cooperation and a sharing of resources with the IKI project ‘Global Forest Survey’.
  • Procurement measures for computer centres with geographic information systems for forest monitoring were carried out in 13 countries.
  • Scientific paper about the MRV tool 'Collect Earth' (external link) in the journal 'Remote Sensing', Vol. 8 (10), 2016.

Project data

Global: Algeria, Argentina, Bhutan, Chile, Colombia, Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Morocco, Mozambique, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, Zambia

Partner institution:

National Institute for Space Research of Brazil (INPE); Fundação de Ciência, Aplicações e Tecnologia Espaciais (FUNCATE); University of Idaho, Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences

Implementing organisation:

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

BMUB grant:
€ 3,999,996.60

06/2013 till 12/2016


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