People looking at a whiteboard showing a satellite image
The tools developed by the SMFM team allow practitioners to more accurately map change and degradation over time

Summit on forest monitoring showcases latest satellite tools

Hosting a side event at the plenary jointly with the World Bank and the European Space Agency, LTS International presented its newly developed earth observation methods in the fight against forest degradation

08. May 2019

Gathering more than 100 representatives of governments, international organisations, academia, and the private sector, the annual Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) Plenary was held 8-9 April 2019 in Maputo, Mozambique. At a side event during the plenary, LTS International, a member of the NIRAS Group, presented the work it has done to date on the Satellite Monitoring for Forest Management (SMFM) project, an ongoing programme to develop new satellite methods for Earth observation.

Under the auspices of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation, the GFOI is a partnership of practitioners in forest monitoring. A core part of its mission is to encourage and coordinate the delivery of assistance to developing countries in the area of national forest monitoring systems – a goal to which the SMFM hopes to contribute.

Hosted jointly by the World Bank, the European Space Agency, and LTS, the side event was oriented around the tools developed by the LTS team to take advantage of new satellite monitoring capabilities provided by the European Space Agency’s Copernicus programme.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Land and Environment for Mozambique opens the 2019 GFOI Plenary

These tools allow practitioners in land and forest management to use new satellite data to assess forest degradation (particularly dry tropical forests, which are notoriously difficult to monitor). This in turn enables them to catch forest degradation early, which is key to prioritising resources, and assess the changes over time to plan longer-term strategy.

In addition to presenting the tools developed for the SMFM project, the event included a round of feedback and Q&A, ensuring that continued development in the programme is demand-driven and based on the needs of practitioners. It concluded with a discussion led by members of the World Bank team on the next steps for Earth observation.

Read the full profile of the Satellite Monitoring for Forest Management project.