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For the first time worldwide, free & ready-to-use high-resolution satellite data is now available to monitor forests & help reduce emissions from deforestation & forest degradation. The monitoring system has been launched by FAO and other partners as part of the Global Forest Resources Assessment. The monitoring system delivers data in a global sample grid at 13 000 locations and provides tools for their interpretation. It is designed to improve global and regional information on forest change in FAO’s assessments of forests. For a country the sample grid can be intensified and become a cost-efficient approach to measure national forest trends.

“This brings a revolution to the forest monitoring field. Never before have data of this kind been provided directly to users in developing countries. Monitoring will be cheaper, more accurate and transparent for countries that want to participate in reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.” – FAO Director General Jacques Diouf.

Visit the Global Forest Resources Assessment website…

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New UN scheme seeks to combat climate change from deforestation
United Nations | 24 September 2008

UN-REDD Programme LaunchSecretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced a pioneering initiative aimed at combating climate change through creating incentives to reverse the trend of deforestation, at an unveiling with Prime Minister of Norway Jens Stoltenberg.

The United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD Programme) is a collaboration between FAO, UNDP and UNEP. A multi-donor trust fund was established in July 2008 that allows donors to pool resources and provides funding to activities towards this programme.

The UN-REDD Programme is aimed at tipping the economic balance in favour of sustainable management of forests so that their formidable economic, environmental and social goods and services benefit countries, communities and forest users while also contributing to important reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The aim is to generate the requisite transfer flow of resources to significantly reduce global emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. The immediate goal is to assess whether carefully structured payment structures and capacity support can create the incentives to ensure actual, lasting, achievable, reliable and measurable emission reductions while maintaining and improving the other ecosystem services forests provide.

Read more about the UN-REDD Programme…

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FAO place the spotlight on forest monitoring
Environmental Expert | 16 July 2008

SPAIN: Earlier this year, countries and FAO reconfirmed their commitment to jointly prepare the next Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA), a comprehensive data collection on the state of the world’s forests which is scheduled for release in 2010. As part of the FRA 2010, FAO, its member countries and partner organizations will undertake a global remote sensing survey of forests. The survey will substantially improve knowledge on land use change including deforestation, reforestation and natural expansion of forests. The assessment will cover the whole land surface of the Earth with about 9000 samples and is intended to strengthen the capacity of all countries to monitor their own forests.

“The need to improve national forest monitoring is overwhelming as the demand for information has never been greater. National policy processes are striving to address cross-cutting issues such as poverty alleviation and food security related to forests.” — Jan Heino, FAO Assistant Director-General for Forestry

During last week’s G-8 Summit, world leaders “encouraged actions for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD) including the development of an international forest monitoring network building on existing initiatives”.

The main global initiative will be the FRA 2010 survey with key outcomes:

  • Baseline information at the global and regional level on trends in the rate of deforestation, afforestation and natural expansion of forests over the past 30 years;
  • A global framework and commonly agreed methodology for monitoring forest change;
  • An information gateway providing easy access to remote sensing imagery;
  • Enhanced capacity in all countries for monitoring, assessing and reporting on forests and land use changes.

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