Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

World forest observatory needed to monitor vital role of forests in climate deal

Date:
November 30, 2009
Source:
University of Leeds
Summary:
A new scientific organization is needed to monitor the commitments that will be made by developing countries at Copenhagen to cut their deforestation rates, according to research at the University of Leeds.

A new scientific organisation is needed to monitor the commitments that will be made by developing countries at Copenhagen to cut their deforestation rates, according to research at the University of Leeds.

Related Articles


Existing government agencies and research groups have failed to make full use of the thousands of satellite images of the Earth's surface collected each week to monitor tropical forests.

Now, a paper published by Dr Alan Grainger in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences outlines how a new body -- named the "World Forest Observatory" -- could use satellite images to map the world's forests and how they are changing.

The paper also contains the first inventory of national forest surveys for tropical countries -- the current method of documenting deforestation. It shows that in the last 40 years only half of countries have had the two surveys needed to construct a deforestation trend. A third have had only one survey, and a tenth no survey at all.

The study follows a timely statement by Gordon Brown at a Commonwealth summit press conference in Trinidad on 27th November, that satellites will be needed to monitor implementation of a Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) scheme.

"The Prime Minister's commitment is vitally important," said Dr Grainger. "But satellites are not a magic pill, and so far we have failed to use them properly."

"We have the technology, but not the organization. In my plan an international network of scientists, collaborating in a World Forest Observatory, would use satellites to measure the world's forests just as astronomers use telescopes to observe the stars. We could ensure that taxpayers' money is wisely spent on REDD and make major discoveries about how carbon and biodiversity are distributed in forests across the world."

His research shows that a World Forest Observatory will not just need to monitor how deforestation rates decline in future. "To prove cuts in deforestation in a REDD scheme you must know the present deforestation rate accurately. This requires two recent forest surveys, but my research shows that only half of tropical countries at most meet this criterion. So a World Forest Observatory will also have to measure current deforestation rates to provide a reliable baseline."

Dr Grainger is part of an international team carrying out a feasibility study of a World Forest Observatory, with funding from the Sloan Foundation in New York. He has also advised the UN Convention to Combat Desertification this year on how to establish a global desertification observing system.

"There is growing interest across the world in making full use of the satellite technology at our disposal to measure the planet so we can manage it better," he said.

"If governments at Copenhagen give their backing to a World Forest Observatory it could be a major outcome of the conference and be the first in a network of global environmental observatories which will make a big difference to our planet."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leeds. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Measuring the planet to fill terrestrial data gaps. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106 (49) DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0912298107

Cite This Page:

University of Leeds. "World forest observatory needed to monitor vital role of forests in climate deal." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091130121435.htm>.
University of Leeds. (2009, November 30). World forest observatory needed to monitor vital role of forests in climate deal. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091130121435.htm
University of Leeds. "World forest observatory needed to monitor vital role of forests in climate deal." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091130121435.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) — The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) — Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins