The ESA EO4SD Forest Management cluster – aims to demonstrate the utility and benefit of mainstreaming EO-based forest related products and services for improved Forest Management for IFI programmes and stakeholders in Client States (CS). The consortium is led by GAF AG (Germany) and a Consortium of European and Canadian expert partners (Caribou Space/UK, Hatfield/Canada, Indufor/Finland, CLS/France, Wageningen University/Netherlands).
Phase 1 was September 2020 to June 2022 and has been focused on strategic planning and stakeholder engagement. The consortium engaged the World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) teams who requested support to over ~50 programmes – highlighting a very high appetite for integrating EO products into their work practices. These were prioritised to seven programmes across ten countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia as seen in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Location of IFI Programmes Supported with EO Products
The different forest products include Forest Cover and Forest Area Change, Tree Cover Density, Land Use and Land Cover Change, Near Real Time Canopy Disturbance, Mangrove Area and Change, and emission estimations based on the Global Biomass product from the ESA Climate Change Initiative (CCI). Each product in the portfolio was specifically chosen and tailored to overcome the most prominent challenges within each Use Case.
In early 2022, user validation and capacity building workshops were held with WB and ADB representatives and their Client State counterparts with ~175 attendees. These provided user feedback and validation of the products, and defined the Phase 2 requirements.
In parallel to the provision of EO products there was detailed capacity building assessments conducted to review IFIs and Client States experience and expertise with respect to EO-products and scope for increased use of EO. To support capacity building by sharing lessons learned and knowledge, and to raise overall awareness of the role of EO in the forestry sector, multiple communications materials have been produced. These include this website and video, a blog series, EO product descriptions, a brochure and a flyer.
From September 2022 the cluster will move into Phase 2 for two years with an emphasis on scaling up the demonstrations of the EO-products, continuing to build capacity with the IFIs and Client States, conducting an impact evaluation, and to establish a roadmap to mainstream EO into IFI and Client State work practices.