Japan: The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has generated the world’s first 10-meter resolution images and maps of the global forest and non-forest area distribution (in 2007 and 2009) using the Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) aboard the Advanced Land Observing Satellite “DAICHI” (ALOS,), according to JAXA. These images and maps will be published online at (https://www.eorc.jaxa.jp/ALOS/en/guide/forestmap_oct2010.htm).
JAXA will introduce the image maps at a side event for the 10th Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity and also at the Ministerial Summit for the Group on Earth Observation (GEO) to be held in Beijing in 2010. The agency will analyse and process past data to understand global-scale forest carbon volume change to compile useful data for control measures to tackle deforestation and forest deterioration. For data distribution, the agency will conclude an agreement with cooperative organisations.
The decrease and degradation of forestry, which occupies about one third of the global surface, gravely impacts the acceleration of global warming and the reduction of biological diversity; therefore understanding the current status of forests and its change over time on a global scale is an urgent challenge. Also, carbon dioxide emissions due to deforestation and forest degradation accounts for over 20 percent increase over emissions by fossil fuel (oil, natural gas, coal) combustion.