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MML property boundaries on aerial image

Property parcel boundaries on aerial imagery (MML MapSite, 2022)

Carbon – who needs to know? A closer look at monitoring need at the level of forest estates…

Authors: J. Van Brusselen, Y. Maximo and P.J. Verkerk

(This is the fourth and final posting in a series of blogs discussing underlying policy frameworks and specific user needs for forest carbon monitoring. The first three have been published on 16.12.2021 , 13.1.2022 and 11.2.2022

The Forest Carbon Monitoring project has been discussing with organizations about their carbon monitoring needs at European to national and regional levels, and even at the level of individual forest estates. With this blog post, we have a closer look at the carbon monitoring interests at the local level, for which we have been having discussing with forest management companies, cellulose and energy producers, investment companies and even oil companies that are looking to diversify their business portfolio.

What these companies have in common is a keen interest in sustainable and profitable forest management. Accurate carbon monitoring is expected to bring in extra revenue in the future through carbon crediting, while compliance with legal carbon stock management requirements is also becoming important. Optimally, a carbon monitoring product will for these companies also improve access to forest inventory information, which the companies would like to have more frequently for a more agile forest management planning.

Together with the representatives of the partnering companies, the FCM project’s team was able to identify their requirements for carbon monitoring. Although the companies constitute a heterogeneous group, their needs regarding carbon monitoring were quite similar. Most of the companies require a high spatial resolution jointly with a short temporal resolution. However, variation was perceived in some other aspects such as required accuracy and periodicity. When detailing their carbon monitoring needs, company representatives also considered the use of the EO input data in other contexts, such as operational forest management and planning.

Many thanks go to the company representatives for interesting discussions and their interest to co-develop the future of forest carbon monitoring!