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Space agencies join forces to systematically observe climate variables
Date:12/11/2009

. He also demonstrated how satellites are being used for fire and ocean-colour monitoring.

Chairing the event, Briggs was on hand to recount ESA's activities on monitoring forests, which were developed as part of the GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) services. The Forest Monitoring project was initiated to help establish a mechanism for measuring deforestation. A reliable procedure for validated, verified monitoring of forests, based on satellite data, will be needed to underpin any political agreement on schemes such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) under the UNFCCC.

Under REDD, countries that are willing and able to reduce emissions from deforestation would be financially compensated for doing so. Previous approaches to curb global deforestation have so far been unsuccessful, however, REDD provides a new framework to allow deforesting countries to break this historical trend.

European Environmental Agency Director Jacqueline McGlade spoke at the event about the impacts of climate change, giving the need to monitor the speed at which glaciers are changing as an example. "Political decision-makers count money; we will make them count water, clean air and forests. It is very important to have updated observations and long-term continuity of data. Climate change impact is a reality. Space tells us a great deal and being on the ground tells us even more. The combination of the two is essential."


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Contact: Robert Meisner
robert.meisner@esa.int
39-069-418-0874
European Space Agency
Source:Eurekalert

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