Case study

Ecometrica Forest Monitoring Systems

Improving forest monitoring systems through better application of satellite data


Credit: ESA

Project name

Forests 2020

Target countries

Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Ghana, Kenya, Indonesia

Project lead


Project Consortium

UK: University of Edinburgh (NCEO), University of Leicester (NCEO), Carbomap Indonesia: Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), PT Hatfield Indonesia, Daemeter Brazil: Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE), Instituto de Pesquisa Ambientalda Amazônia (IPAM), KeyAssociados Mexico: El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR), Pronatura Sur, Ambio, FIPRODEFO Colombia: University of Andes (UniAndes), Instituto de Hidrología, Meteorología y Estudios Ambientales de Colombia (IDEAM), The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Colombia Ghana: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Resource Management Support Centre (RMSC) of the Forestry Commission Ghana Kenya: Kenya Forest Service

Project summary

Forests provide vital services including livelihoods, water, and habitats for millions of species, and are essential for combating climate change. Despite frameworks to help developing countries protect and restore their forest resources, inadequate monitoring systems remain a barrier to effective implementation. Earth Observation (EO) is widely acknowledged as the only effective way to monitor forests at regional and national levels, however accuracy, frequency, speed, and delivery of EO data products remain a challenge.

Forests 2020 is a 40 month project from a consortium of UK experts and international partners led by Ecometrica, that aims to address these technical barriers to improve forest monitoring systems in 6 developing countries to support REDD+, FLEGT and other aspects of forest governance and biodiversity conservation.

The project will focus on three areas of forest monitoring systems: * Improved detection of forest changes, particularly in challenging ecosystems and land use situations; * Improved mapping of risks and priority areas, particularly ways in which local organisations and district or state-level forest authorities can input and interact with the forest maps and forest change detection * Digital infrastructure for managing and distributing EO derived and related information to ensure robustness, consistency, continuity and availability of data products to end-users.


  • To help protect and restore up to 300 million Hectares of tropical forests by improving national forest monitoring systems in 6 partner countries through better applications of satellite data
Published 26 January 2017