Forest Carbon Tracking

National Demonstrators

The Forest Carbon Tracking (FCT) task was initiated by GEO in 2009. It serves as a collection of activities and resources aimed at developing and exercising the relationships, methods, data streams, and products that underpin GFOI. It has been supported by a number of interested countries, including Australia, Canada, Japan, Norway and the United States as well as CEOS and FAO.

In support of their efforts, FCT was supported by a group of early adopter countries, the National Demonstrators, who are interested in the development of national forest monitoring systems and the benefits of GFOI.

The National Demonstrators included: Australia (Tasmania), Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, DR Congo, Guyana, Indonesia (Kalimantan and Sumatra), Mexico, Nepal, Peru, and Tanzania.


Map of the GEO-FCT National Demonstrator Countries & Territories 

Product Development

Each FCT National Demonstrator has been supported by a Product Development team. The membership of these teams is diverse, but comprise international researchers, in combination with members of each country’s research and/or governmental communities.

The Product Development teams have pursued the refinement of methodologies, and exercised the data flows from providers – and through this process generated valuable demonstration products that clearly articulate the potential of forest monitoring.

Research & Development

Themes addressed by the FCT R&D activities have included:

  • Interoperability and complementarity between different sensors, protocols for use of new sensors as these become available
  • Integration of satellite data into carbon models and into national systems to produce actual estimates of carbon stock changes.
  • Linking the R&D topics with demonstration plans in the National Demonstrators established for R&D purposes (e.g. Tasmania).

In order to focus the R&D efforts, the FCT community has held a series of Science and Data Summits, which have brought together concerned scientists with data providers and end users.

SDS-1 – May 2010, Woods Hole, USA

SDS-2 – February 2011, FAO, Rome, Italy

SDS-3 – February 2012, Arusha, Tanzania

SDS-4 – February 2013, Sydney, Australia

Transition to GFOI

The GFOI Steering Committee is overseeing the transition of the FCT partnerships and activities to be an integral part of the GFOI framework and implementation plan to ensure that the National Demonstrator, Product Development, capacity building and R&D activities undertaken during the last few years are coordinated in a coherent way consistent with the overall GFOI objectives.