Sciences au Sud n°43 - January-February-March 2008
Kyoto protocol : Satellite land-use snapshot
To fulfil the country’s engagements made under the Kyoto Protocol, in 2007 France had to provide national land use statistics, with particular focus on forest cover. French Guiana is of prime significance in this respect, with its 8 million hectares of forest. The short operating time available precluded a complete ground-level survey, therefore the only feasible operational solution was to use satellite imagery. The land use mosaic produced by IRD’s Space unit gave the first recorded coverage of the whole surface of Guiana, showing the forest and the areas cleared for agriculture or goldpanning. The resulting map and the methodology applied by the unit “Espace et l’Inventaire forestier national” were presented at the conference of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) held in December 2007 in Bali (Indonesia).