Tropical forest monitoring: Amazon deforestation

Tropical forest monitoring: Amazon deforestation

DMC data can be successfully used for tropical forest monitoring and deforestation assessment. It can provide a big contribution in MRV (monitoring, reporting, verification system) for REDD+ countries, providing wall-to-wall, timely collected information.

Since 2005, DMCii has delivered multiple coverage of the Amazon Basin to the Brazilian Government. The National Space Research Institute, INPE, uses the data to monitor annual changes in forest cover and to detect newly cut areas.

INPE is leading the world in the use of satellite imagery to monitor deforestation, providing information central to Brazil’s war on deforestation that has cut deforestation rates by 78% since 2004.

The space agency’s groundbreaking DETER service uses regular satellite images to detect forest clearance as it happens – rather than surveying the damage afterwards – guiding Brazil’s enforcement officers to provide effective forest clearing control. However in recent years, the authorities have discovered that illegal loggers are clearing smaller areas to evade detection by the 250metre-pixel MODIS data that is currently in use.

Since 2012, DMCii enables INPE to receive the 22metre resolution data directly from the UK-DMC2 satellite to its groundstation at Cuiaba,Brazil. With approximately 130 times as many pixels per hectare as the MODIS images currently in use, the data will detect these smaller clearings and provide more detailed maps.

The UK-DMC2 satellite will image the entire Amazon basin every two weeks, so that the authorities are alerted as soon as possible after logging is detected. In a unique agreement, the data covering Brazil will be made freely available on open licence through the INPE website so the general public can follow progress against deforestation.