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Clark Labs joins hands with Conservation International

Massachusetts, US: Clark Labs and Conservation International (CI) have signed a contract to partner in the application of REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) baselines as well as the co-design and development of REDD-specific functionality within the land change modeller (LCM) application in the IDRISI Taiga GIS and Image Processing system. Clark Labs and CI’s science and knowledge division (formerly the Centre for Applied Biodiversity Science) have developed this modeller in a prior contract to address land cover change and its impacts on biodiversity. Now, they will enhance its functionality and an automated workflow.

The technical issues of REDD–carbon accounting, additionality, baseline or business as usual, leakage and permanence—are complex and require sophisticated tools. Currently, IDRISI Taiga and its Land Change Modeller is the only integrated modelling solution to address many aspects of REDD projects.

The first step in implementing a REDD project at the site or national level is to estimate the deforestation and/or degradation baseline, i.e., the expected future rate and distribution of change if a REDD project or policy is not employed. Following IPCC guidelines, application of the method requires not only the generation of a precise map of historical deforestation and biomass estimates, but also spatial modelling of the expected future trends of deforestation, a step accomplished using GIS modelling tools. In the case of the BioCF method submissions to VCS, the IDRISI Taiga software was utilised.

It is hoped that the results of this collaboration will allow for wider adoption of REDD project development from the carbon and climate community by providing a more accessible approach to the complex technical challenges.

Source: Clark Labs