The European Space Agency’s Earth Observation for Sustainable Development Forest Management (EO4SD FM) Cluster was part of the UNFCCC COP28 Side events at both the Commission des Forêts d’Afrique Centrale-Central African Commission (COMIFAC) Pavilion and the ESA Pavilion. In this manner promotion of the EO4SD FM Forest portfolio of products and the project was undertaken resulting in user federation. The EO4SD FM Prime, GAF AG was actively involved in presenting the projects in these Side Events.
At the COMIFAC Pavilion on the 2nd December, GAF made the following presentation: “Earth Observation based Tree Cover Density product for supporting REDD+ and compliance with EU Deforestation Free Supply Chain regulation.” Dr. R. Siwe, Technical Co-ordinator for Central African Region, USFS moderated the session. The presentation invoked a lively discussion with participants from the Congo Basin region noting the challenges for implementation of the EU Deforestation Free Supply Chain Regulation (EUDR), and the need for accurate geolocation and deforestation data at plot level.
During the ESA/JAXA Side Event on the 6th December, “Satellite Observation contributing to GHG inventory, NDCs, and GST,” the EO4SD FM Tree Cover and Tree Cover Density (TCD) Products provided to Bolivia were presented by N. Caldéron Executive Director at Fundacion Amigos de la Naturaleza (FAN). She noted the value of these products for improved accuracy of forest cover assessment in the overall context of supporting Bolivia with their REDD+ process, especially for mapping dry forests of the Chaco region.
Finally GAF had an Awareness Raising session at the ESA Pavilion on 9th December: EO Based Forest Information for REDD+ and new EU Deforestation Free Supply Chain Legislation. There was also the possibilityo to discuss in more detail potential support to the Cameroon National Observatory on Climate Change – L’Observatoire National sur les Changements Climatique (ONACC) team via collaborations.
As reducing deforestation is an important aspect of the Paris Agreement and countries are encouraged to undertake these activities as part of mitigation measures, the COP provides a framework for the project activities being conducted in the EO4SD FM. The COP also provides an opportunity for GAF AG to meet the different counterparts in one forum and further discuss with them the integration of the Earth Observation (EO) based forest products in their work practices as well as possibilities for further business development.