Canadian Forest Service Publications

Deforestation estimation for Canada under the Kyoto Protocol: A design study. 2002. Leckie, D.G.; Gillis, M.D.; Wulder, M.A. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing 28(5): 672-678.

Year: 2002

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 20726

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


Deforestation is a persistently important issue locally, nationally, and internationally. It is of interest to the public, foresters, environmental organizations, and governments, yet it is difficult to obtain reliable estimates of its extent and nature. Climate change and the role of forests has given a large impetus for formalizing reporting on deforestation. Under the proposed Kyoto Protocol, industrialized nations are required to report on the carbon consequences of deforestation and include them in their greenhouse gas emissions accounting. Canada must develop measurement systems to report on the area of deforestation and the carbon stock loss. Possible data sources include the new plot-based National Forest Inventory (NFI), land use records, and satellite remote sensing. The NFI is a network of 2 x 2 km plots at a 20 km spacing for which land cover and stand attributes are interpreted from medium-scale aerial photography. In this study, medium-resolution satellite imagery, such as Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM), was explored as a potential tool for deforestation estimation and a survey of available land use records was conducted. Factors affecting the utility of each data source and various system design options were examined. An integrated system is suggested that utilizes the NFI as a base, augmented by satellite remote sensing plots and supported by local records as appropriate.