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Norway to spend $50 million on tropical forests satellite images and give them for free

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | June 29, 2019
tropical forests
World   Norway to supply highly detailed satellite images of world’s rainforests

Norway intends to spend up to USD 50 million USD to purchase high-resolution images of tropical forests.

The images will be made freely available for governments, researchers and NGOs all over the world.

They will enable the monitoring of deforestation, even on smaller areas.

For over a decade, Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative NICFI has supported developing countries’ efforts to reduce deforestation.

Tropical deforestation leads to large emissions of greenhouse gases and is a grave threat to the global diversity of plants and animals.

Estimates show that preserving forests and improving land management can contribute to one third of all the emission reductions before 2030 that the world needs to be on track to reach the goals set in the Paris Agreement.

Part of NICFI’s forest funding has, for a number of years, given free access to satellite images and analysis that track and measure forest changes and loss.

Norway supports Global Forest Watch GWF tracks annual changes in global tree cover and publish freely accessible maps around the globe.

GFW also release early alerts on deforestation hotspots.

Analysis methods developed at University of Maryland has also enabled GFW to separate deforestation of primary forests, extremely important to greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity.

The satellite images used by these service show changes in the forest canopy over relatively large areas.

However, they cannot detect illegal logging, or other activity, hidden by the rainforest canopy.

Alongside better monitoring to detect forest crimes, NICFI is stepping up the fight against illegal deforestation through Interpol and the UN.

NICFI is planning to purchase the high-resolution satellite imagery of all tropical countries for two years, with the possibility for extension for a further two years.

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