Space Technologies serving Sustainable Forest Management

Carte + Main

Deforestation is the cause of one fifth of greenhouse gas emissions. REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) is a financial mechanism that provides incentives to encourage sustainable forest management in emerging countries.

REDD+ implementation requires robust, transparent and cost efficient systems for monitoring, measuring and evaluating forest cover, quality, and carbon stocks. Satellite imagery is a vital tool for monitoring forests.

Geo-information solutions with satellites contribute to:

  • Establishing the reference, historical baselines and analyzing forest degradation
  • Measuring, monitoring, quantifying carbon density
  • Policy implementation: cadastral applications and land use

REDD+ in action in Central Africa

Foret bassin Congo

Tropical forest, Congo basin

Forest Congo basin

Population in the Congo basin will have doubled before 2035 which will increase pressure on the forest and further contribute to the climate crisis.

The COP15 in Copenhagen resulted in a declaration by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs whereby France committed to providing SPOT satellite images to 6 central African countries in the Congo Basin to monitor forest resources.

Congo Basin

Congo basin

African Forest and Space Technology

This initiative is managed by the French Development Agency with support from public organisations with expertise in forest management and space technologies.

The Congo Basin project will be presented during COP17 (Durban Conference, 2011).

Astrium, as data and geo-information supplier, will deliver along with AFD (Agence Française de Développement) the following services:

  • Archive imagery over the entire basin
  • Monitoring starting in 2010 (priority on tropical forests),
  • SPOTMaps (2.5 m natural colour images) in CRA
  • Baselines consisting on historical deforestation mapping and benchmark forest map at date over pilot regions, South CRA and DRC (partly)
  • Web portal to access GEO Information


Forests and REDD Mapping

The first images are now available to administrations, research bodies and NGOs working on REDD+ strategies in the Congo Basin. The forest maps and forest change maps are now available for Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic.

These maps were produced from satellite images of SPOT 4 and SPOT 5.

Bangui AFD Spot5 Carto
Bangui forest Carto change


See Also...

Space Technologies serving Sustainable Forest Management

Congo Basin Web Portal

To facilitate access to satellite images to monitor forests in the Congo Basin, a web portal has been developed by AFD and Astrium Services.

Users can view the catalog of images made available and submit their REDD + projects.

AFD portail Web Bassin Congo