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Observation of Amazon Rainforest by Japanese Earth observation satellite ALOS (*1)

The 13th Conference of Parties (COP13) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) was held in Bali, Indonesia from December 3 to 14, 2007.

"Forest Day" organized by the Indonesia Ministry of Forest (MOF) and Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) was set up on December 8 during the period of the conference, and a side event was held called "Sustainable management of Forests and Carbon: Modeling, Monitoring, and Accounting for Forests and Carbon," which was organized by the Forest Agency of Japan and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
At this event, there were many presentations on monitoring techniques that use satellite information.

As one of the presentations, Dr. Masanobu Shimada, Research Field Leader of Japan Exploration Agency (JAXA) along with Dr. Ake Rosenqvist, from the European Commission of Joint Research Center gave a presentation on the efficiency of techniques for observing the Amazon Rainforest that use PALSAR(*2) data from ALOS.

JAXA announced that it started supplying PALSAR images from ALOS to the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) on September 3, 2007.

Dr. Shimada said "PALSAR is an L-band microwave sensor to receive microwaves that, because they have a long wavelength of 23.6 cm, can penetrate through cloud and rainfall and acquire image data regardless of the weather or the time of day. They can also partially penetrate forest and go through to the ground. Therefore, PALSAR is suitable for observing the Amazon Rainforest which is very cloudy in the rainy season. Mastering the technique of analyzing PALSAR image data is also very useful for observing illegal logging activities and can help to prevent deforestation."

Amazon Deforest Watch (Santarem) JERS-1 & ALOS(PDF 8.18MB)

PALSAR Mosaic Products(PDF 88KB)

*1 ALOS: Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) launched on February 26, 2006.
*2 PALSAR: Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR), is a microwave sensor that receives radio wave reflections transmitted from a satellite.


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