Astrium to provide satellite imagery to protect forests in the Congo Basin

France will finance the provision of SPOT satellite imagery to central African countries to help them pave the way for the REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) mechanism.

Satellite imagery is an essential component for establishing up-to-date cartography, baseline maps and accurate measurements to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of REDD programmes as well as carbon models. SPOT satellite imagery, combining broad coverage and high two metre resolution, is an ideal solution for forest monitoring.

The contract between the French Development Agency and the GEO-Information division of Astrium Services marks the beginning of a broad initiative to map the entire Congo Basin, the second largest forest in the world.

This initiative will make SPOT images available to administrations, public institutions, and NGOs working on sustainable forest governance in the Congo Basin countries. SPOT archive imagery dating from 1990 will be used to establish baseline reference maps over the zone. Additional programming campaigns to acquire fresh datasets over the years will track the evolution of forest cover to monitor REDD+ future commitments.

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