The 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) begins today, where representatives from a variety of countries will come together in Lima, Peru, to reach an international binding agreement on climate change to be signed in Paris 2015. 20 thousand people are expected to attend the event, including government representatives and environment-related organisations, with their responsibilities being:
1. To gather and share information on greenhouse gas emissions, national policies and optimal practices.
2. To implement national strategies for addressing the issue on greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to foreseen impacts of climate change, as well as determining the provision of financial and technological support to developing countries.
3. To cooperatively be prepared and adapt to climate change effects.
Since Brazilian representative Raphael Azeredo voluntarily presented the country’s Forest Reference Emission Level (FREL) to the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) back in June, Brazil has continued its fight against climate change and supports initiatives to reduce carbon emissions. Its aim to reduce their projected carbon emissions 36%-39% is well underway as the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment released a report last week that documented an 18% deforestation decrease between 2013 and 2014.
PRODES Forest Change Data
The Brazilian government observed the deforestation mapped by the National Space Research Institute (INPE) using PRODES satellite data to analyse deforestation levels; data that is also used by Celestial Green Ventures to monitor the deforestation levels within the Trocano Araretama Conservation Project.
Although PRODES satellite imagery is a trusted monitoring tool for both the Brazilian government and Celestial Green Ventures alike, there has been slight scepticism from some quarters regarding its accuracy. Therefore, CGV in collaboration with Ecometrica decided to verify the accuracy of PRODES by assessing the detected deforestation within a 179,000 ha area using higher resolution satellite imagery from geospatial information provider RapidEye (now BlackBridge), and comparing the two. This allows the Trocano Araretama project to identify any potential undetected emissions, and account for them when quantifying any detected deforestation within the project and leakage areas.
After the analysis with RapidEye, it was concluded that PRODES detected 96.1% of the overall deforestation for the test period, and no false positives were observed. The information assessed during this verification indicates that the PRODES data is an accurate and suitable method for estimating deforestation.
This verification allowed CGV to provide new information to the Natural Forest Standard about the level of adjustment required for undetected deforestation when utilising the PRODES satellite data for project monitoring.
A complete report on the independent verification of PRODES forest change data by CGV’s Environmental Analyst Leah Gainey is available to download today on our reports page.
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