Canadian Forest Service Publications

Canada’s National Deforestation Monitoring System: System Description. 2015. Dyk, A.; Leckie, D.; Tinis, S.; Ortlepp, S. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, British Columbia. Information report BC-X-439. 30p.

Year: 2015

Available from: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 36042

Language: English

Series: Information Report (PFC - Victoria)

CFS Availability: PDF (download), PDF (request by e-mail)

Abstract

Deforestation is the direct human-induced conversion of forested land to non-forested land use. Canada’s National Deforestation Monitoring System (NDMS) was designed and implemented to provide information needed by Canada to meet its obligation under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to report the areas affected annually by deforestation. It also provides important information for the public, government policy makers, and scientists. To provide information about the amount of deforestation and why, where, and when it occurred in Canada, the NDMS uses deforestation mapped on a system of sample areas. The mapping is based on visual interpretation of satellite imagery supported by available ancillary information, such as high resolution imagery, forest inventory, and industrial databases, and informed by records-based information and expert knowledge. Accurate detection and mapping of deforestation events involves manual interpretation of satellite remote sensing imagery by specialized analysts. A key factor in the mapping is to distinguish deforestation from other forest cover losses that occur in Canada. This report describes the methods used to monitor and report on deforestation, including stratification and sampling, data sources, mapping and interpretation, estimation procedures, and quality control through all stages of the process. The NDMS was designed to make use of all available lines of evidence and be flexible to accommodate variable resourcing levels. This system has been producing national deforestation monitoring results annually since 2006. The flexibility of the NDMS’s design makes it possible to adapt to future changes in data and resource availability, and positions the program well for sustained operational delivery into the future.

Plain Language Summary

Deforestation is the direct human-induced conversion of forested land to non-forested land use. Canada’s National Deforestation Monitoring System (NDMS) was created to provide information Canada needs to meet its obligation under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to report the areas affected annually by deforestation. It also provides valuable information for government policy makers, scientists, and the public. The NDMS uses deforestation mapped in sample areas across the country to produce information about the amount of deforestation and where, when and why it occurred. Unlike other satellite-based monitoring systems, the NDMS distinguishes deforestation from other forest cover losses across the country. Specialized analysts locate and map individual deforestation events using satellite imagery, as well as additional information such as high resolution imagery, forest inventory, and industrial databases. Mapping may also use records-based information and expert knowledge. This report describes how deforestation is monitored and reported in Canada, including stratification and sampling, data sources, mapping and interpretation, estimation procedures, and quality control through all stages of the process. The NDMS was designed to use all available evidence, and be flexible to accommodate variable resourcing levels. Because the system is flexible, it can adapt to future changes in data and resource availability, and is well prepared to continue delivering operationally in the future. This system has been producing national deforestation monitoring results annually since 2006.

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