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Monitoring of large scale small holder reforestation projects for carbon finance mechanisms (MORECA)

Onderzoeksproject SR/00/142 (Onderzoeksactie SR)

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Context and objectives

In the Virunga NP the main cause of deforestation is illegal logging for charcoal production and for fuel wood collection. To tackle this problem, the current EcoMakala project (EU, 2007-2012) aims to reforest at least 2000 ha of smallholder lands (0,5 to 5ha). To be eligible as A/R activity under the CDM of the Kyoto Protocol, a conclusive proof that the areas were not carrying forest from 1990 onwards has to be delivered. In addition, to be part of a larger REDD programme, the positive impact on the deforestation rate of the Park has to be demonstrated. The primary objectives of this proposal are

• Define the eligibility of the pre-identified lands (based on the UNFCCC’s forest definition for the DRC);
• Monitor plantations and estimate the carbon uptake based on extrapolation of field measurements.


To map and monitor the forest (1990-2010) in order to define the eligibility of the lands HR optical and microwave RS data will be used. Optical images use for map land-cover at all dates and map the eligible zones those who are non forest since 1990 according the definition to the UNFCCC’s forest definition. The radar data will be used to testing the feasibility of detecting eligible parcels with SAR images (if there is no optical images of the area at that time due to the cloud cover).
After pre-processing the images, 3 methods for land-cover change detection will be compared: supervised classification and post-classification comparison, backdating change detection, statistical object based forest change detection: automated processing chain.

To monitor plantations and estimate carbon, VHR images will be used to compare data extract from the image and data of plantation. The final objective is to establish empirical relationships between EO-derived indices and estimates of carbon by multiple regressions.

Results expected

On the project level results expected are: -project monitoring; - produced data relevant to REDD program for the Virunga NP; produced data relevant to fuel the data stock required on the national level (DRC). On the national and regional level results expected are: Identification of possible scaling-up of A/R CDM activities in the region

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