GRAS has effectively completed a project on ‘Satellite remote sensing in support of UN-REDD’ for the Cambodian Forestry Administration.
Implementation of policies to ‘Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation’ (REDD) has certain pre-requisites. These include effective deforestation monitoring systems in order to estimate the size and changes in carbon pools at national and sub-national levels.
Since 2006, GRAS has provided certain related services to the GIS/Remote Sensing unit of the Forestry Administration (FA) in Cambodia. These include capacity development support and quality assurance of forest cover mapping. As a result, the GIS/RS unit is now a well-functioning department producing national forest cover maps. These are sourced from a range of different satellite types. Apart from this, the unit is also generating local maps, which support:
- forest demarcation
- community forestry
- evaluation of the function of the forest
- forest management plans at local level
GRAS provided UN-REDD training courses in 2011 and 2012. These courses included theoretical introductions, but mainly focused on hands-on sessions. The sessions targeted both senior (technical) and junior staff. These target audiences have very different levels of knowledge in terms of GIS and Remote Sensing.
FA staff members are now conscious about challenges in implementing UN-REDD projects. However, most importantly, they are updated about different approaches to calculating carbon stocks and changes with tabular and spatial data. They can evaluate historical land cover trends. They can now also identify the drivers of the changes, which are ultimately used to model future scenarios. Moreover, they can calculate the estimated greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions, that would result from the implementation of a REDD project.
This capacity development was made possible with funding from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).
Staff of the GIS and Remote Sensing unit of the Forestry Administration, Cambodia, attending the GRAS training in “Satellite remote sensing in support of UN-REDD”.