With the depletion of tropical forests thought to be responsible for around 17% of our greenhouse gas emissions, forest protection is ever high on the agenda.
Effectively measuring the success of conservation schemes is vital but can be expense, timely and difficult to monitor by land, due to obstacles such as corruption and illegal logging that purvey in areas such as the Amazon, Indonesia and Congo Basin.
Earlier this week, eco-business.com reported that Google Inc have recently launched ‘Google Earth Engine’, a platform which takes satellite forest images and uses cloud computing through shared data centres to allow scientists to instantly monitor the forests from computers around the globe.
Google believe that that the tool will valuable to carbon traders, policy makers, and researchers, as well as speeding cooperation in the global forest conservation and climate change plan, named ‘reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation’, or REDD.
REDD is an international agreement that involves wealthier countries financially rewarding poorer nations for forest restoration. At last year’s climate talks in Copenhagen, rich nations, including the US, Japan and Norway promised $3.5 billion, to fund the development of REDD.
Google Earth Engine will not only cut the costs of monitoring the forests but will also allow both donor and developing countries access to exactly the same tools and data. It’s hoped that this sharing platform will strengthen trust and international negotiations.
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This article was also published with Responsible Travel News
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