Developing Earth Observation products for monitoring tropical humid and dry forests


Testing EOMonDis Service Platform and Accessing Sentinel-Data Programme with DoF/FRIM: Lilongwe, Malawi, 16-18 May 2017

Mo, 19/06/2017 - 14:00
During the week of 15th of May GAF AG provided a Training/Testing of the EOMonDis Service Platform to the Department of Forestry (DoF) and Forest Research Institute of Malawi (FRIM) who are the main counterparts for EOMondis in Malawi. The introduction to the EOMonDis Service Platform, forest products and their utility was in the form of a short training programme. The training also included a demonstration of the new Sentinel-2 data and its use for mapping tropical dry forests in Africa. Several types of Cloud platforms that provide Sentinel-2 data were presented and tested by the participants. A major obstacle for integrating Earth Observation (EO) data in the daily work of both DoF and FRIM is the limited internet connection available in Malawi and therefore the problematic data transfer rates. These issues were discussed during the training as well as potential short-term measures to overcome these problems; for example a solution would be to provide access to remote processing facilities that can handle the data in place and to limit the volume of data transfer to just the processing results. The training as well as testing of the EOMonDIs Service Platform was well received by the counterparts and further activities are envisaged which includes the provision of the forest products/datasets and their validation by DoF/FRIM.

EOMonDis presentations at ISRSE in Pretoria, South Africa 8-12 May 2017

Mo, 19/06/2017 - 13:52
Four presentations from EOMonDis Consortium Members were accepted for oral presentation at the 36th ISRSE conference in Pretoria, S. Africa from 8-12 May 2017. Mr. F. Enssle from GAF AG presented the main objectives of the EOMonDis project and the overall technical design of a National Forest Monitoring Systems (NFMS) that incorporates radar and optical satellite; there was a special focus on the Earth Observation (EO) based products for the REDD+ and Zero Deforestation programmes. He noted that existing processing and analysing methods have to be improved especially for mapping tropical dry forest ecosystems. Tackling these challenges is currently the main objective of EOMonDis.

Dr. S. Mermoz from CESBIO presented the developments in the application of Sentinel-1 data for detecting forest change detection based on Sentinel-1 data. The method is based on analysing multi-temporal C-band radar data to detect differences at the boundary area of new deforestation events. He highlighted the need for combining radar and optical data to put operational forest monitoring system in place. Dr. S. Sannier from SIRS showed current progress in the EOMonDis project on near-real time forest monitoring in Gabon incorporating Senintel-2 and Landsat imagery. Dr. A. Bouvet from CESBIO further presented results from the EOMonDis project on the above-ground biomass mapping, which is based on ALOS-2 L-band radar data. He noted that especially for low biomass forests of up to 100t/ha and with its high spatial resolution of 20m, the product has major advantages compared to other global biomass maps.

The presentations were all well received and the Conference provided an important technical forum for the Consortium members to further discuss technical issues with the international scientific community, on the various challenges related to the method development in EoMonDis.

ISRSE-37 Conference 2017

Fri, 04/04/2017 - 14:49
GAF AG will be present at the 37th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment (ISRSE-37) in Tshwane, South Africa from 8-12 May 2017. The conference focuses on “Earth Observation for Development and Adaptation to a Changing World”.
More information on the conference is available at: http://isrse37.org/

Presentation illustrating the use of dense time series for deforestation detection: Peru example from EOMonDis

WB Land & Poverty Conference Panel: Dr. T. Haeusler presented (2nd from right) the EOMonDis Project

EOMonDis presentations well received at ESA Word Cover Symposium 14-16 March 2017 and at World Bank Land & Poverty Conference, Washington DC 20-24 March 2017

Fri, 04/04/2017 - 14:49
Dr. T. Haeusler presented at the ESA World Cover Symposium in ESRIN, Frascati on 14 March 2017 the main technical concepts of the deforestation/degradation mapping central to tropical humid and dry forest mapping which is being implemented within the EOMonDis project. In the presentation, he also emphasised that for the UNFCCC REDD+ policy process the importance of the user/stakeholder driven approaches to developing National Forest Monitoring Services and land use monitoring systems in terms of in-country capacity and ownership of the processes. This was emphasized in the context that whilst the global data sets such as the Global Forest Watch datasets have a value in supporting countries in the REDD+ Readiness Phase, the extent of utility is often mis-directed for users in developing countries (especially by the financiers/donors for REDD+). He noted that countries want ownership of not only the spatial data but the processes; this is also important when countries are ready to implement the results-based payments Phase of REDD+.

Dr. T. Haeusler made a presentation on EOMonDis at the World Bank Land & Poverty Conference in Washington, DC on 23 March 2017. As this forum was a wider non-technical audience from the World Bank and the counterpart developing countries the focus of the presentation was aimed more at the application of EO for addressing the policy and user requirements.

Geomatic conference “J-Geo” 2017 in Libreville.

Wed, 03/08/2017 - 12:20
EOMonDis project member SIRS participated to the Geomatic conference “J-Geo” that took place from 8th to 10th of February 2017 in Libreville, Gabon. Under the conference slogan « L’émulation africaine autour des données spatiales : transfert des technologies, appropriation des savoir-faire, renforcement des capacités » the presentations included different topics mainly related to land cover and forestry. Workshops around SAR and Lidar were provided by NASA, Cesbio, DLR and CEOS. Ghana, Benin, Cameroon, Mali, France, USA and Gabon participated actively during the J-Geo. SIRS presented the mapping of Gabon's forest cover based on near real time change detection, highlighting the benefits of the combination of SAR (Sentinel1) and optical data (Landsat and sentinel 2) and the role of the local partner AGEOS (Gabonease Agency of Studies and Earth Observation) to adapt these tools and techniques for forest monitoring in Gabon.

GAF AG will be participating at the ESA WorldCover Conference from 14 – 16 March 2017 at ESRIN in Frascati – Italy.

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 10:12
On Tuesday, 15 March 2017, a presentation with the title National Forest and Land Use Monitoring in African Countries will be given in the session “Responding to User Needs”. GAF AG will be especially focusing on the REDD+ forest monitoring aspects which were investigated under the ESA financed GSE REDD Dry Forest project und being currently further developed within the project “Bringing Earth Observation Services for Monitoring Dynamic Forest Disturbances to the Users (EOMonDis)” of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty 2017

Thur, 02/02/2017 - 09:02
GAF AG will participate in the 18th WB Conference on Land and Poverty taking place in Washington, DC from 20-24 March 2017. The 2017 conference theme will be: Responsible Land Governance: Towards an Evidence-Based Approach. GAF AG submitted a paper entitled „Satellite based monitoring of forest resources compliant with REDD+ and Zero Deforestation“.
More information on the conference is available at: http://www.worldbank.org/en/events/2016/08/22/land-and-poverty-conference-2017-responsible-land-governance-towards-an-evidence-based-approach

EOMonDis successfully presented at ForestSAT 2016

Tue, 11/29/2016 - 13:35
Organisers: Study Center of Natural Resources (OTERRA) & School of Forestry at the Universidad Mayor
Venue: Universidad Mayor, Santiago
Date: 15-18 November 2016

ForestSAT 2016 was the seventh edition of this international scientific conference, which was held in Santiago Chile from the 14th to 18t November 2016. It was jointly organised by the Study Center of Natural Resources (OTERRA) & the School of Forestry at the Universidad Mayor.
The EOMonDis consortium was represented with three different talks, which where held by GAF AG, Joanneum Research Center and SIRS. Joanneum presented results from radiometric calibration of Sentinel-2 and Landsat 8 data. GAF AG presented the overall concept of the EOMonDis project with a focus on dense time series analyses based on various data sources and discussed first results from forest area mapping in a tropical dry forest environment. The talk held by SIRS was focused on the statistical evaluation of area estimates for an improved assessment of map accuracies. A new announcement will be published as soon as the proceedings of this conference are available.

Sentinels for REDD+:
Earth Observation supporting MRV systems

Tue, 11/29/2016 - 10:02
Organisers: European Space Agency; European Commission (Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs)
Venue: EU Pavilion, COP22, Marrakesch
Date: Thursday 10 November 2016

This side event was organized by the European Space Agency to raises awareness of the European Copernicus Programme with its new fleet of satellites – the Sentinels – and their use for REDD+. It aimed to share experiences from several EC and ESA pilot projects demonstrating the use of Earth Observation in MRV systems to implement REDD+, serving needs of developing countries and addresses future European support to national implementations. In this context, Dr. Thomas Haeusler the project Co-ordinator for the H2020 Project “Earth Observation Services for Monitoring Dynamic Forest Disturbances to the Users-EOMonDis” presented the overall objectives and activities of the project. He outlined initially the technical challenges of using satellite data mapping tropical dry and humid forests and the potential for the Sentinel 2 data to address some of the challenges. Especially in the context of the dry forest mapping the use of dense time series which the Sentinel 2 data offers can be used to overcome challenges posed by seasonal changes of tree cover, phenology as well as the sparse overall tree cover. EOMonDis will contribute to the development of operation near real time monitoring of forest disturbances which was noted to be critical for the national REDD+ Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) systems for developing countries.

The presentation was well received and Dr. Haeusler joined the Plenary Session to reply to questions posed by the audience.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 685761.