4.1 Remote sensing observations
The MGD anticipates that medium- and high- spatial resolution optical and radar data will be the main types of remotely sensed data used in the estimation of REDD+ activities. Currently there is most experience with using medium resolution optical data. This is because:
- there is experience in the use of data of this type by countries in making national emissions estimates from deforestation and from other KP LULUCF activities
- Landsat provides an historical archive of data of this type back to the early1970s and, given the successful operations of Landsat 8 as well as Sentinel 2A, there is the prospect of continuing availability of data for the foreseeable future
- Landsat data are acquired globally and are freely available in pre-processed form (which is also planned for Sentinel 2A), and new techniques in data mining or compositing can do much to mitigate problems of interference by cloud cover. Visual interpretation can also help increase accuracy where there is poor temporal coverage due to cloud.
The CEOS Space Data Coordination Group has worked for GFOI with the world’s largest providers of Earth observation data to ensure that all countries can have access to the satellite data required for national forest monitoring and annual reporting of greenhouse gas emissions. The CEOS website has up-to-date information on optical and radar data including spatial and temporal resolution and availability and identifies core data sets which are freely available via the SDCG . The main data types are described below.