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In the meanwhile…

While waiting for the finalization of the plans for the project extension, we would like to highlight some key developments that took place since the end of the main phase of the Forest Carbon Monitoring (FCM) project. The project was promoted in several occasions in different types of events and media.

In October 2023, ESA organized the EO for Carbon Markets Forum. The forum brought together carbon market specialists to share their experiences and knowledge, discuss challenges and opportunities, and identify best practices and innovative solutions related to the use of Earth Observation (EO) data in support to carbon markets. Particularly, the role of EO data in improving the transparency and credibility of carbon projects was explored. The FCM project findings were presented among other project presentations to foster collaboration and networking among participants from different sectors, including academia, industry, finance, NGOs and governments.

Later in the year, the FCM project was highlighted in the EC-ESA Joint Earth System Science Initiative workshop, together with the Forestry TEP platform and findings from other related VTT projects such as the EU Forest Flux and ESA Forest Digital Twin Earth Precursor. The event allowed the FCM team to review the latest advances in EO and Earth System Science across domains from both ESA and EC funded projects and initiatives as a basis for networking and interdisciplinary science. Collaboration and exploration of opportunities offered by the latest technologies, data and resources were among the main objectives of the workshop. Particularly, opportunities to foster the transfer of latest results in science to operational programmes such as Copernicus and DestinE were discussed.

The presentations, discussions and networking in the two events helped to form contacts and define goals for the FCM project extension. Many of the issues raised during the events will be tackled in the project continuation ahead of us. These include for example the importance of statistical accuracy frameworks as well as the potential of AI approaches and new EO data sources.

The FCM project was also mentioned in the Market Trends report on Space and carbon markets: harnessing the power of space technologies and carbon markets for a sustainable planet, published on the 11th November 2023. This report discussed the opportunities of EO supported approaches for carbon markets and raised some ongoing projects and initiatives working on development of EO supported approaches for carbon monitoring.

And most recently, FCM was highlighted in the CREODIAS May 2024 newsletter. This post focused particularly on the product portal where the openly available products can be viewed and downloaded.

On the publication front, a journal paper by Ge et al. entitled Deep Learning Model Transfer in Forest Mapping Using Multi-Source Satellite SAR and Optical Images was published in late 2023 (full citation below). This paper used the FCM project main phase datasets to experiment with transfer of a UNet based forest attribute prediction model from one geographic area to another using a limited set of field data plots. Further development of this approach and combination of the outputs with statistical estimation forms one of the key objectives of the project extension. Description of the objectives and use cases of the project extension will be provided in the next blog as soon as details of the new demonstrations have been finalized.


Full citation: Ge, S.; Antropov, O.; Häme, T.; McRoberts, R.E. and Miettinen, J. (2023) Deep Learning Model Transfer in Forest Mapping Using Multi-Source Satellite SAR and Optical Images. Remote Sensing: 15, 5152.