The UK Space Agency’s Forests 2020 project is set for expansion, with more crop monitoring and a new country joining for an extended final phase.
Project managed by Ecometrica, Forests 2020 uses advanced mapping technologies, satellite data and other insight to help protect and restore tropical forests through improved forest monitoring. Using the award-winning Ecometrica Platform, the company will now also provide further support to the UK government, as it monitors the effectiveness of investments in forests via the International Climate Fund (ICF).
Sarah Middlemiss, Space Programme Manager at Ecometrica, said the extension of the project would help support governments and other organisations to make informed decisions on the ground, using space data to ensure plans were being adhered to and policies were having the desired effect.
“This expansion will enable us to consolidate the success we’ve had with Forests 2020 so far, providing greater support to ICF partner-countries to measure the avoided forest loss resulting from ICF funded interventions and ensuring that the methods and techniques we have developed alongside our partners around the world will continue for years to come,” she said. “Using the Ecometrica Platform, that data is increasingly being made available to companies and other private sector organisations, in a format that allows such insight to be used to monitor compliance and support commitments to ‘zero-deforestation’ commodities.”
Forests 2020 originally involved six partner countries: Indonesia, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Ghana and Kenya. These will now be joined by Belize, while monitoring will also be extended beyond forest change detection, to include banana plantations, soya farms, and the impact of palm oil plantations.