The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and German Space Agency (DLR) organized a dialogue on:

Satellite data and monitoring systems for REDD+

Date: 5th October 2012; Location: BMZ, Bonn, Germany; Time: 9:00 – 18:00

German development cooperation has been engaged in tropical forest conservation and management for many years and is committed to the implementation of the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In this framework BMZ during recent years considerably increased funding for the protection of forests and other ecosystems, including REDD+ (Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks). Germany is strongly supporting the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, the Brazilian Amazon Fund, and recently launched a global program “REDD Early Mover” which will work with countries pioneering in REDD by providing result-based and incentive payments for emission reductions under REDD schemes.

Support for REDD+ should achieve cost effective emission reductions, as well as biodiversity and livelihoods benefits. A phased approach will ensure that countries receive support to be ready for performance based payment mechanisms. The latter requires a robust, accurate and cost effective monitoring system, in which satellite data play an important role. Germany has a number of competitive satellite data providers with systems such as TerraSAR-X and RapidEye. In addition in-depth and broad experience is available regarding the implementation of monitoring systems together with partner countries. International coordination through the GEO Global Forest Observation Initiative (GFOI) also plays a significant role in optimizing the availability of and access to satellite data for REDD+.

Consistent with their capabilities and the level of support provided, developing countries have to prepare biennial national greenhouse gas update reports. In many developing countries a significant proportion of the emissions are related to deforestation and forest degradation. Therefore, respective monitoring is a priority. However, activity data to prepare national reports are often lacking, because remote sensing data and related monitoring systems are either not adequate or not available. Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) procedures for REDD+ are currently tested and discussed. The respective discussion within and outside UNFCCC will strongly benefit from an open dialogue to better understand technically feasible and practical solutions.

The objective of the dialogue was to provide an overview of available remote sensing data and existing monitoring platforms in selected partner countries and in particular to discuss related uncertainty and costs. Several presentations on needs, availability, coordination, costs and uncertainty management of satellite data for REDD+ were given in the morning session. In the afternoon sessions three working groups discussed best monitoring practices and how to manage uncertainty, to elaborate cost benchmarks and to identify the use of satellite data for IPCC reporting. Please find here the programme and presentations. A summary report describes the main findings of the discussion. (Point of contact: Reinhard Wolf, GIZ, e-mail:

The dialogue was preceded by a technical side event on 4 October 2012 on satellite data and monitoring systems for REDD+, organized by DLR (Point of Contact: Dr. Helmut Staudenrausch, e-mail: Please find here the programme and presentations.

The international participants comprised representatives from partner countries, providers of satellite data and institutions supporting REDD+ implementation such as the World Bank, FAO, KfW and WWF. Please find here the list of participants.