Clark Labs has recently published a Focus Paper on modeling REDD baselines with the Land Change Modeller application in their IDRISI GIS and Image Processing software. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is a climate change mitigation strategy for the protection and maintenance of forests that has gained momentum with conservation organisations, project developers and governments in developing countries.
As forests play a major role in the sequestration of carbon, especially tropical forests, REDD offers great potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon offset payments, based on an assigned financial value for the likely carbon storage capacity of protected or maintained forests, provide incentives for adopting such a strategy.
A REDD project is comprised of a number of significant components and requires the expertise and input of multiple parties. This paper discusses one of the required elements, the modeling of a baseline, a scenario of the likely greenhouse gas emissions if the project were not to be implemented. The modelling relies on land cover and land use change maps as its foundation.
Baseline mapping includes determining historical deforestation rates and patterns, identifying the unique drivers and underlying factors of the area's deforestation, and modelling potential scenarios.
The new Focus Paper provides a general overview, featuring a case study of a REDD project developed by the government of Madagascar, with assistance from Conservation International and the BioCarbon Fund, for the area along the Ankeniheny-Mantadia Corridor. The overall objectives for this REDD project were to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase protected areas, and reduce the loss of biodiversity by reconnecting forest fragments and reducing future forest fragmentation.
The Focus Paper is available for download as a PDF document from the Clark Labs web site.