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Monitoring peatlands for climate impacts and benefits using ground and satellite data


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Presented by Adam Gerrand (FAO) at "Webinar: If forests and peatlands disappeared, would humanity survive?", 21 August 2019.

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Monitoring peatlands for climate impacts and benefits using ground and satellite data

  1. 1. Monitoring peatlands for climate impacts and benefits using ground and satellite data Adam Gerrand, FAO Adam to look on OneDrive photos for Indonesian peatland pictures Photo: Alue Dohong ,.Central Kalimantan, Indonesia 21 August 2019
  2. 2. Indonesian peat restoration 3Rs 2 WHAT we want to know and measure: – Biomass above + below ground (hard) – Ground water level – Subsidence loss, inundation, GHG’s – Livelihood economic info. – Vegetation cover and change through optical satellites; – Fire hotspot detection; – Soil moisture index estimated using radar satellite data. Historically peatlands mostly avoided, ignored, abused or degraded, only recently getting attention due to fires and climate impact Difficult access and conditions, resulted in poor monitoring data, poor management and weak enforcement of regulations WHY?
  3. 3. 1. Field data collection ✓ Satellite, aircraft, drone data covers large areas very fast ✓ Increasing resolution, +lidar ✓ Makes very detailed maps ✓ Consistent, frequent, time- series quickly show changes ✓ Cost effective data • Satellites are expensive! • Complicated access, process • Requires skilled staff ✓ Historically more accurate ✓ Manual / automatic data ✓ GHGs, subsidence etc. ✓ Ground-water level (GWL) ✓ Soil surface moisture • Hard, wet dirty work! • Slow, expensive • Small area covered 2. Remote sensing data Auto GWL Manual mmt Advantages and disadvantages of HOW to measure
  4. 4. South Kalimantan peatlands (green)
  5. 5. Canals cause extensive peatland degradation and GHG’s
  6. 6. Restoration benefits – Soil Moisture Index Change 2016-18 Canal backfilling is light blue dots Blue areas have positive change in moisture index
  7. 7. Conclusions: Peatlands potential - Promising or promises? 7 1. Two basic methods for monitoring peatlands: 1. Field measurements (manual/auto, accurate, small area, slow expensive) 2. Remote sensing data (broad areas, fast cheap, needs field data calibration) 2. Rapid improvements in peatland monitoring: ➢ Better monitoring from automated field Ground Water Level sites ➢ New satellites combined with fast computer processing (SEPAL) ➢ High resolution, frequent imagery, reduces costs, detects changes ➢ Draft soil moisture index estimated using radar satellite data ➢ Developing faster, cheaper large-area peatland monitoring 3. but still many challenges remain to be resolved X Peatlands still mostly undervalued, under-resourced, poorly monitored and managed, research& capacity development needed + increasing recognition of climate change links and urgency, political will, research (ITPC), collaboration (GPI) are promising
  8. 8. More info: Photos by Adam Gerrand