National Scale Monitoring Reporting and Verification of Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Guyana
- 1Guyana Forestry Commission, Planning and Developmnet Division, 1 Water Street, Kingston, Georgetown, Guyana
- 2Guyana Forestry Commission, Manager, Forest Area Assessment Unit, 1 Water Street, Kingston, Georgetown, Guyana
Keywords: Deforestation, Forest Degradation, Landsat, RapidEye, MRV System, and persistent cloud
Abstract. Monitoring deforestation and forest degradation at national scale has been identified as a national priority under Guyana‟s REDD+ Programme. Based on Guyana‟s MRV (Monitoring Reporting and Verification) System Roadmap developed in 2009, Guyana sought to establish a comprehensive, national system to monitor, report and verify forest carbon emissions resulting from deforestation and forest degradation in Guyana. To date, four national annual assessments have been conducted: 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Monitoring of forest change in 2010 was completed with medium resolution imagery, mainly Landsat 5. In 2011, assessment was conducted using a combination of Landsat (5 and 7) and for the first time, 5m high resolution imagery, with RapidEye coverage for approximately half of Guyana where majority of land use changes were taking place. Forest change in 2013 was determined using high resolution imagery for the whole of Guyana. The current method is an automated-assisted process of careful systematic manual interpretation of satellite imagery to identify deforestation based on different drivers of change. The minimum mapping unit (MMU) for deforestation is 1 ha (Guyana‟s forest definition) and a country-specific definition of 0.25 ha for degradation.
The total forested area of Guyana is estimated as 18.39 million hectares (ha). In 2012 as planned, Guyana‟s forest area was reevaluated using RapidEye 5 m imagery. Deforestation in 2013 is estimated at 12 733 ha which equates to a total deforestation rate of 0.068%. Significant progress was made in 2012 and 2013, in mapping forest degradation. The area of forest degradation as measured by interpretation of 5 m RapidEye satellite imagery in 2013 was 4 352 ha. All results are subject to accuracy assessment and independent third party verification.