Thursday, December 4, 2008

Rainforest canopy-penetrating technology gets boost for forest carbon monitoring

Mongabay: A tool for monitoring tropical deforestation has gotten a boost from the one of the world's largest supporters of Amazon conservation. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has awarded the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology with a $1.6-million grant to expand and improve its tropical forest monitoring tool known as the Carnegie Landsat Analysis System Lite (CLASLite).

The Stanford University-based group says CLASLite "will rapidly advance deforestation and degradation mapping in Latin America, and will help rain forest nations better monitor their changing carbon budgets." The technology will prove useful as the REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) mechanism — currently under negotiation at international climate talks — comes online.

"About 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from deforestation and degradation of tropical forests," said Greg Asner, project leader and a researcher at Stanford. "And much of it occurs in developing nations, where monitoring capabilities are often unavailable to governments and NGOs. This grant allows us to improve and expand CLASLite, and to train many people from tropical forest nations so that they can determine where and when forest losses are occurring. Perhaps most importantly, rain forest nations will be able to better determine how much CO2 comes from deforestation and degradation—information that has been very scarce in the past. We hope that CLASLite will become a central tool for rain forest monitoring in support of global carbon crediting for REDD—the United Nations initiative on Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation."…

The Capilano Bridge, North Vancouver, British Columbia. Located in a private nature preserve open to the public (for fee) it is the fifth bridge at this location and is used to access a rainforest canopy walk and other nature trails. Shot by Leonard G., Wikimedia Commons, under Creative Commons ShareAlike 1.0 License

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