COP27: Tree-counting NGO offers data to tackle deforestation

A view of the devastation caused by a forest fire in an area of Brasilia’s National Forest, in Brasilia, Brazil September 5, 2022. REUTERS FILE PHOTO

California-based non-governmental organization CTrees launched on Tuesday a data service to help countries limit deforestation and monitor the number of trees they have.

Based on 20 years of data, CTrees’ platform uses advanced satellite technology to enable the detection of changes in forests, including degradation, fires and clearance.

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As global climate talks take place until Nov. 18 in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt, CTrees said its data would help countries to measure their contribution to reducing emissions ahead of a stocktake of progress at next year’s U.N climate talks.

So far, emissions reductions are not enough to cap global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), the level scientists consider necessary to avoid the most severe impacts.

CTrees’ project, which is making its data showing how much carbon is stored in trees available for download, has been developed by an international team of scientists, led by Sassan Saatchi, a senior scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

“We are coming dangerously close to the 1.5 degree threshold,” Saatchi said in a statement. “Soon many impacts of climate change will be irreversible and countries need the most accurate data possible to implement the most effective, immediate policy.”