Reinforced satellite surveillance of forests in Central and Western Africa

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The AFD and IGN FI have reinforced their collaboration to improve spatial observation of forests in Cental and Western Africa. The OSFACO(*) project will enable eight Central and Western African countries(**)  to obtain very high resolution satellite images (SPOT 6/7) which will facilitate the sustainable development of land and  implementation of forest management or agricultural development policies.

Satellite imagery: an essential tool

The forests of Western Africa lost 20% or their surface area between 2000 and 2010 due to uncontrolled logging for heating and lumber, forest fires and the extension of cultivated land. Satellite observation of the Earth has become recognized as an essential tool for measuring and tracking the implementation of sustainable land development: more than 100 observation satellites are actively tracking the Earth, providing spatial images at different resolutions from 30 cm to 30 km, from hour-to-hour to year-to-year repetitive imaging using reflective, thermal and microwave imaging. 

A partnership established in 2011

This is what incited the AFD to support the first Spatial Observation of Tropical Forests project (OSFT) in 2011. This initial collaboration has enabled high resolution (from 20m to 1.5m) satellite images to be acquired in 6 Central African countries and made available to over 70 beneficiary projects as well as the production of forest maps in Cameroon and Central African Republic.

IGNF FI has relied on support from several entities in order to ensure the success of this project: the National Centre for Spatial Studies (CNES), the National Institute of Geographical and Forestry Information (IGN) and the Institute for Research and Development (IRD).


(*) OSFACO : Central and Western African Forests Spatial Observation project

(**) The following countries are involved in this project: Cameroon, Central African republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Benin.

More information: read the press release