Airbus Defence and Space Services was in the spotlight at the International Conference on major forest zones held by France’s President Sarkozy in Paris on 11 March.
As a follow-on to the climate conference in Copenhagen, this event brought together a number of ministers and heads of state from countries in both tropical and boreal forest regions.
The conference discussed how to coordinate and finance the implementation of REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) in developing countries. Airbus Defence and Space CEO, Eric Béranger, was accompanied by Didier Rigal, Sustainable Development and Carbon Specialist at Spot Image, who made a technical presentation explaining how SPOT satellite imagery can be used to support REDD programmes.
Satellite imagery is an essential component for establishing up-to-date cartography, baseline maps and accurate measurements to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of REDD programmes as well as carbon models. Spot Infoterra has developed a unique methodology for analysing and measuring deforestation and forest degradation using satellite imagery that was demonstrated in Copenhagen. During the conference in Copenhagen an agreement was signed between the French Development Agency and Airbus Defence and Space to provide satellite data to launch a massive REDD programme covering the Congo Basin.
It is expected that following the meeting of 11 March work will continue at a second conference in Oslo in May. During this time, Spot Infoterra will be supplying archive data, acquiring fresh imagery and sharing expertise in the frame of the Congo Basin project.