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July 17th, 2012
To Achieve Scale, REDD Must Embrace Satellite Technology

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Carbon projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) can save rainforests and slow climate change by keeping carbon locked in trees, but this mechanism and its sibling, REDD+, can only scale up if investors will know how many trees there are, and how much carbon is stored within them and whether this carbon is staying put, year on year.

Current methodologies being advocated within the United Nations require the use of forest audits based on traditional forestry management methods of the developed world, but these are simply too expensive to work in the developing world. The Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, has more than 100 million hectares of inaccessible rainforest, and the country doesn’t have the resources to survey this from the ground in a cost-effective manner, let alone quantify the results into a standardised format to be cross-checked against forest stocks elsewhere.

 

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