A tool for monitoring tropical deforestation has gotten a boost from the one of the world’s largest supporters of Amazon conservation, reports Mongabay.com.
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has awarded a $1.6m grant to the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology to expand and improve its tropical forest monitoring tool known as the Carnegie Landsat Analysis System Lite (CLASLite).
The Stanford University-based group says CLASLite “will rapidly advance deforestation and degradation mapping in Latin America, and will help rainforest nations better monitor their changing carbon budgets.”
The technology will also prove to be useful when the REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) mechanism, currently under negotiation at international climate talks, comes online.
“About 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from deforestation and degradation of tropical forests,” said Greg Asner, project leader for CLASLite.
“Much of it occurs in developing nations, where monitoring capabilities are often unavailable to governments and NGOs.
“This grant allows us to improve and expand CLASLite, and to train many people from tropical forest nations so that they can determine where and when forest losses are occurring.
“Perhaps most importantly,” he added, “rainforest nations will be able to better determine how much CO2 comes from deforestation and degradation. (This) information has been very scarce in the past.
CLASLite is capable of penetrating the upper levels of the rainforest canopy and detecting small differences in vegetation patterns at a scale of about 100 feet (30 metres), producing forest maps from old and new data from Landsat satellites, as well as several other Nasa sensors in Earth orbit.
“The technology can sense changes resulting from selective logging and small surface fires that burn below the forest canopy.
Filed under: carbon, deforestation Tagged: | Brazil, carbon, carnegie institute, claslite, deforestation, degradation, forest fire, gordon and betty moore foundation, sequestionation, south america, tropical forests