UK: As the 18th Commonwealth Forestry Conference is about to begin in Edinburgh, DMCii has launched a service specifically tailored to help in the fight to conserve global forests. DMCii’s Global Forest Monitoring service uses satellite imagery to produce easily-understood maps of forest cover change. The service’s wide-area forest surveys can be updated annually, monthly – or more often still for areas judged most at risk – delivering the timely data necessary for operational management.
DMCii’s Global Forest Monitoring service is based around a constellation of six satellites known as the Disaster Monitoring Constellation which work together to provide rapid mapping services. Independently owned but collectively coordinated, the satellites have a joint daily repeat imaging capability for anywhere in the world, meaning that even cloudy areas can be imaged frequently enough to achieve full coverage.
The first generation Disaster Monitoring Constellation satellites offer optical imaging at 32m ground sample distance (GSD) with a very wide 650 km swath capable for example of covering the entire UK in a single pass. Last year two new satellites were launched, UK-DMC2 and Deimos-1, with 22m GSD, effectively doubling the number of pixels per hectare and greatly boosting the constellation’s overall imaging capacity. Each Disaster Monitoring Constellation satellite observes in three spectral bands compatible with Landsat – the world’s longest running Earth-observing satellite series – so long term forest changes and many types of degradation can be identified.
Information derived from the satellites is used to provide maps of forest/non-forest regions, clear cut areas, logging roads and forest degradation. The service is also intended as a means of training and building capacity in the use and processing of satellite data, deriving information maps from data and interpretation of forest maps.
The conference scheduled to be held during June 28 – July 2, 2010, will address conserving current forested areas and restoring lost forests as a means of benefiting regional habitats and communities – as well as tackling global climate change. Together 54 states of the Commonwealth own 800 million hectares of forest, representing 20% of the world’s remaining trees.