The 2021 International Day of Forests was celebrated on Sunday 21st March 2021. This year, the theme was “Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being.”
Forests are a precious asset for our planet, bringing priceless benefits in ecological, economic, social and health terms. Forests are a source of food, medicine and fuel for more than a billion people. They hold more than three-quarters of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, provide many products and services that contribute to socio-economic development and are particularly important for hundreds of millions of people in rural areas.
As such, the preservation and sustainable management of forests is crucial to address climate change and biodiversity crises, alleviate poverty and contribute to meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Earth Observation, is a precious tool in our hands, as data collected can be used to improve climate models and help monitor vegetation distribution and density.
One of ESA‘s research teams involved in the ESA Climate Change Initiative is working on the definition of new maps, providing a global view of above ground biomass (stem, branches and other woody components) distribution and spatial density over different years.
These new maps combine various data from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission, Envisat’s ASAR instrument, JAXA’s Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS-1 and ALOS-2) and other Earth Observation sources.
How will this work help advance climate models and trend analysis? Take a look at this ESA’s article to know more.
Cover picture credits: Photo by John O’Nolan on Unsplash