Establishment of a satellite image processing unit for forest monitoring in CAR République centrafricaine


Agence française de développementGouvernement de République Centrafricaine

Services: Diagnostics and feasibility studies

Countries: République centrafricaine

Dates of intervention: 2011/07

Amount executed: 7 500 €
Total amount of the service: 7 500 €

Main backer: Agence française de développement - Client

Main beneficiary: Gouvernement de République Centrafricaine

Co-contractors: Institut national de l’information géographique et forestière – Branche internationale

Support provider: Olivier BOUYER

Experts: Olivier BOUYER

Certificate of satisfactory executionProjet AFD - ASTRIUM - Observation spatiale des forêts tropicales - Compte-rendu de mission en RCA

Context of the service

Satellite imagery has become fundamental to monitoring the state of tropical forests. As the Congo Basin countries have a deficit in this area, AFD, with the support of Astrium SAS, decided in 2009 to finance the supply of such satellite images, via a project called "Space Observation of Tropical Forests" (OSFT).
These images were from the SPOT 4 and 5 satellites (medium resolution, 10-20 m), were centered on 2000 and 2010 and covered the tropical rainforest of the six countries in the heart of the Congo Basin (Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, CAR, DR Congo). The images were provided by Spot Image and the support of the beneficiary countries in their use was done by a consortium including the Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), the Centre national d'étude spatiale (CNES), the Institut géographique national - France international (IGN-FI) and the Office national des forêts International (ONFI).
As CAR is in a way the "pilot" country of the project, the objective of this mission was (i) present the latest advances and recommendations in terms of tropical forest monitoring and measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of related GHG emissions, (ii) present the interest of the OSFT project in this context, (iii) identify existing image processing skills and (iv) agree on the process for licensing the images.

Services provided

Interviews were conducted with the main national stakeholders of the OSFT project: Ministries in charge of environment and forests, Laboratory of climatology, cartography and geographical studies (LACCEG), Forest Data Center (CDF), Project to support the implementation of forest management plans (PARPAF), Central African Forest Ecosystems Project (ECOFAC), AFD, Prime Minister's Office. This highlighted the lack of human and logistical resources to process satellite data: four experts partially proficient in GIS and remote sensing, and insufficient equipment. Human and material capacity-building is a top priority.
A workshop was then held at the end of the mission to make presentations on the REDD+ MRV, the OSFT project, the diagnosis in terms of national satellite data processing capacities and, finally, to discuss licensing procedures.
Participants insisted that forest cover monitoring be extended to the northern region where there are strong anthropogenic pressures (transhumant livestock, slash-and-burn killing, bush fires, gold and diamond mining, etc.). Indeed, the REDD+ mechanism will be set up at the national level and 70% of CAR's forests are dry and therefore not covered by this OSFT project. Finally, it was decided that the National REDD+ Committee, under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister, would sign a general license with ASTRIUM and specific licenses with REDD+ project leaders.

Summary of the service

Establishment of a satellite image processing unit for forest monitoring in CAR, as part of REDD+: Recommendations in terms of tropical forest monitoring and Measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of related GHG emissions; Presentation of the project "Space observation of tropical forests" (OSFT); Assessment of skills in terms of satellite image processing; Definition of the process for assigning licenses to use images.