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Thailand adopts LiDAR technology for forest carbon mapping

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Bangkok, Thailand: The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) and WWF-
Thailand have formally launched the joint project, TREEMAPS – Tracking Reductions in Carbon Emissions through Enhanced Monitoring and Project Support – which aims to establish Thailand’s first forest carbon basemap and monitoring system, as well as establishing a sub-national REDD+ project.

This initiative will help to reduce carbon emissions, protect vital biodiversity and ecosystem services, and create sustainable livelihoods for many people. Data will be collected from three sources: satellite imagery, on-the-ground surveys and through the use of groundbreaking LiDAR technology.

TREEMAPS project launch event in Bangkok

WWF is introducing LiDAR technology to help Thailand survey carbon levels in forests to establish its first carbon basemap with accurate data on carbon inventory and a reliable system of monitoring carbon level in forests, said Justin Foster, project director of TREEMAPS with WWF Thailand.

LiDAR will be the key technology employed in developing Thailand’s first forest carbon basemap. LiDAR scanners will be fitted to aircraft conducting aerial surveys. The aerial surveys will collect data that will subsequently be processed to produce 3D (three dimensional) images of the surveyed forest. The data collected will provide highly accurate information, which will form the basis of a forest carbon basemap. The creation of the forest carbon basemap will allow for ongoing monitoring of changes in Thailand’s forests. Thailand is the first country in Southeast Asia to adopt and employ LiDAR technology for forest conservation through this WWF initiative.

Source: Panda.org