New service for monitoring forest carbon balance
Forests play a key role in reducing the effects of climate change. Forest Carbon Monitoring (FCM) is a project led by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and financed by the European Space Agency ESA, aiming to create a new forest carbon service for forest operators’ needs.
The requirements for monitoring carbon balance are growing constantly and the monitoring methods have developed fast. Companies report their carbon balances for verification of forest certificates and try to respond to consumers’ growing expectations. Administrative organizations must report carbon balances of their countries or parts of them to meet the requirements of international agreements, for example. The new forest carbon service will help different forest operators by making suitable monitoring methods available for them.
New methods and satellites help to monitor forest carbon. Forest areas can now be imaged with increasing frequency and spatial resolution: the resolution for images taken every few days is now commonly 10-20 meters, while 10 years ago it was up to a kilometer. As the resolution and frequency grow, so does the amount of data. This has required development of new cloud services for managing the data and images.
Forest carbon service
FCM project brings together the new technology and the forest operators’ evolving needs.
– The project starts with a user interview period. The aim is to find out what kind of data the users need to fulfill their forest carbon monitoring and reporting requirements. Based on this information we will build a service that includes a variety of monitoring methods to serve different user groups, describes Senior Scientist Jukka Miettinen from VTT.
Miettinen adds that the service will help different types of users from companies operating in limited areas to national administrative agencies and international organizations.
– Within the project, we will be using service design methods to help bring the user needs to life and help the project partners co-create the best possible solution ideas together. The demonstration will include seven target areas in Europe and one in Peru, ranging from local case studies to European-wide mapping.
Reliable data that fits industry operators’ needs
The forest carbon service utilizes data provided by forest operators, satellite imagery and other data sources. When a user orders data, the service provider chooses optimal monitoring method, produces the outputs, and sends them back to the user.
– The outputs consist of traditional forest variables, such as species distribution, age or height of the trees, or forest area. This information enables modelling forest biomass and carbon and, in future, forecasting their development, Miettinen says.
Technology group Wärtsilä has signed an accord with Global Energy Ventures (GEV) of Australia, a company specialised in delivering compressed shipping solutions for transporting energy to regional markets. The two companies will cooperate on the inclusion of Wärtsilä propulsion systems in GEV’s compressed hydrogen (C-H2) ships.
Floating plastic waste can be recovered cost-effectively and valorised if the recovery can take place before the waste reaches the sea. A research project led by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd examines how plastic waste ending up in rivers can be taken out and recycled profitably. Jakarta, Indonesia is the testing ground.