Implementation of policies to “Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation” (REDD) requires effective deforestation monitoring systems to estimate the size and changes in carbon pools at national and sub-national levels. Since 2006, GRAS has provided capacity development support and quality assurance of forest cover mapping to the GIS/Remote Sensing unit of the Forestry Administration (FA) in Cambodia, which is also the country focal point to UN-REDD. As a result, the GIS/RS unit is now a well-functioning department producing national forest cover maps from a range of different satellite types and also local maps supporting forest demarcation, community forestry, evaluation of the function of the forest and forest management plans at local level.
GRAS provided UN-REDD training courses in 2011 and 2012 which included theoretical introductions but mainly focused on hands-on sessions targeting both senior technical staff members as well as junior staff with very different levels of knowledge in terms of GIS and Remote Sensing. By finalizing the training, the FA staff members are now conscious about challenges in implementing UN-REDD projects but most of all updated about different approaches to calculating carbon stocks and changes with tabular as well as spatial data. They can evaluate historical land cover trends and identify the drivers of the changes finally used for modelling future scenarios and finally make the calculation of the estimated greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions that would result from the implementation of a REDD project. This capacity development was made possible with funding from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).
Staff of the GIS and Remote Sensing unit of the Forestry Administration, Cambodia, attending the GRAS training in “Satellite remote sensing in support of UN-REDD”.