REDD+ is a global initiative aimed at protecting the world's forest areas. Hence its name: the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program.
Presently, NASA's satellites are being put to work so as to help with this campaign. Thus, various countries, amongst which Brazil, are getting their national forests photographed from outer space.
Apparently, as opposed to ground-based organizations run by humans, the said satellites are pretty much unbiased when it comes to pin-pointing exactly which areas of land are helping us the most in our battle against climate change and thus need to be protected.
As part of the REDD+ program, the
countries agreeing to safeguard their green areas receive so-called “carbon credits,” which are basically a form of emissions trading.
The system works as follows: under current standards, each country is allowed to produce a said amount of green-house emissions.
Those who go beyond the set level can buy carbon credits from nations who, either by not being so heavily industrialized, or simply by having more forest areas, do not produce as much air pollution as the others.
Thus, in the end, things get balanced out both in favor of the environment, and in favor of national economies.
reports, Yemi Katerere, the head of the UN-REDD program, explains how “REDD+ aims to make forests more valuable standing than they would be cut down, by creating a financial value for the carbon stored in trees.”
He also adds that this initiative “creates an incentive for developing countries to reduce carbon emissions by protecting, better managing and wisely using their forest resources, contributing to the global fight against climate change.”
Now, it is common sense that if this “carbon credits” system is to work properly, then all countries must know exactly both where most carbon dioxide molecules come from and where they eventually end up.
As you can guess, this is where the satellites step in. Doug Morton, a NASA researcher, argues that they “provided a way for governments and conservation groups to monitor new laws protecting forests.”
From where we stand, such a collaboration between NASA and national governments is more than welcomed, seeing how its end goal is that of protecting our natural world.