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‘RS technology slowed the rate of deforestation’

Indonesia: Experts say satellite-based remote sensing technology has helped in slowing the rate of deforestation in the Harapan rainforest in Jambi province.

“Deforestation in Harapan seemed to have slowed down [in the last quarter of 2012]. This was confirmed by local observers,” Netherlands-based Wageningen University forest inventory expert Dirk H. Hoekman said during the workshop on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation — Fast Logging Assessment and Monitoring Environment (REDD-FLAME) held at the International Convention Center of the Bogor Agricultural University (IPB) in Bogor.

“It may be possible that this actually is a result of the [advanced technology].”

The workshop marked the end of the REDD-FLAME programme, which used the advanced technology in Mawas, Central Kalimantan. The project was part of a European Commission-funded research effort known by the acronym FP7-SPACE.

Yusuf Cahyadin of the management of the Harapan rainforest, which covers 101,000 hectares, said measures to prevent deforestation and illegal logging became more effective two years ago, when the forest management began cooperation with SarVision BV, a spin-off of Wageningen University that provides latest maps and information on land and forest cover.

“It is a fact that the technology is very accurate and needed. We could immediately locate hot spots of illegal logging once we received indications of changes in the forest,” he said, adding the error tolerance stood at around 5 percent.

Source: The Jakarta Post