Tropical forests are an important habitat with multiple functions playing a major role as global carbon sinks which offer solutions to the on-going challenges in climate change mitigation. Several international Conventions and policy frameworks such as the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) policy process related to reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD+), the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 13 and 15, and the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) programme aim to protect and improve the management of forests. In line with these policy frameworks, the amount of financial support to developing countries from development co-operation or Official Development Assistance (ODA) has also been increasing from 2000 onwards.
Due to various technological and resources challenges in developing countries the operationalisation of Earth Observation data for forest monitoring still lags behind. In this context the International Finance Institutes (IFIs) who fund the ODA programmes in developing countries have a strong role in facilitating the mainstreaming of the technology in their work practices.