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Working with the Ivory Coast government to monitor deforestation using satellite technology
Working with the Ivory Coast government to monitor deforestation using satellite technology
News Jun 3, 2019

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire – Airbus Defence and Space, Earthworm Foundation and SODEFOR are continuing to monitor deforestation in the Cavally Forest Reserve in Côte d’Ivoire using Starling satellite monitoring technology.

Used as part of a pilot project from December 2017 to July 2018 in the Cavally Forest Reserve, Starling combines high-resolution satellite images (optical and radar) to allow unbiased monitoring of forest cover change. This technology has made it possible to detect forest cover disturbances with 95 percent accuracy and establish an updated reference map of the Cavally Forest Reserve.

Satisfied with the results obtained during the pilot, SODEFOR – the government agency in charge of Ivorian forests – signed an agreement with Earthworm Foundation to continue using Starling to monitor the Cavally Forest Reserve until the end of December 2019. The Director General of SODEFOR, Colonel Mamadou Sangaré, placed great hope in this initiative.

"With the outcomes of the pilot phase, we hope that the results of this new phase will allow us to extend the monitoring actions to other forests in Côte d'Ivoire with success,” he said.

Earthworm is leading this project, which takes place in an area in sub-Saharan Africa that is increasingly affected by deforestation – mainly due to extensive agricultural exploitation.

"Based on the reference map produced in January 2018 during the pilot phase, we will automatically detect changes in forest cover using high spatial resolution data provided by Starling," said Gerome Tokpa, Senior Manager of Earthworm Foundation in Africa.

In addition, Earthworm will strengthen the capacity of SODEFOR agents to understand and use Starling data, which will be accessible both in the field and in the office via digital tablets.

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