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Satellite tracking to help fight deforestation

Thu, 3rd February '11

Satellite observation systems can boost efforts to reduce the emissions caused by the deforestation and degradation (REDD) of forests and other landscapes.

Luigi Boschetti, of the University of Maryland, will give a presentation on the subject at the Wildfire 2011 conference, to be will be held in Sun City, South Africa, from May 9 – 13.

Boschetti will present the paper he co-wrote with his university colleague Christophe Justice, and David Roy of South Dakota University, on how satellite observation systems can aid REDD programmes.

If these programmes are to be successful, they need to take into account that fires play several roles, the authors write in their abstract. Fires can be a disturbance, cause a change in ecology, be used to covert land from one use to another, or be used as a forest management tool.

Fires are essential to keep ecosystems balanced in some fire-prone areas. They may pose a threat to REDD programmes, but can play a key role if fire emissions are managed through integrated fire and forest management programmes.

The presentation will give an overview of the way satellite observations could be integrated in national programmes to measure, report and verify REDD efforts.
* Wildfire 2011 is organised by AfriFireNet, the sub-Saharan wildland fire network and funded by the South African government. It has the backing of the United Nations’ International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and the Food and Agricultural Organisation.

Issued by HWB Communications Pty Ltd on behalf of  Wildfire 2011
For more information please call:
Evelyn John Holtzhausen, on +27-(0) 82 658 6007
E-mail: evelyn@hwb.co.za
Media registration: www.wildfire2011.org