Biodiversity / Food / Water

June 14, 2008


Japan Providing Brazil with Advanced Satellite Data to Stop Illegal Logging in the Amazon

Keywords: Ecosystems / Biodiversity Government University / Research institute 

The Japanese government decided recently to officially give Brazil additional technological assistance to prevent illegal logging in the Amazon rainforest by providing satellite images captured by its advanced land-observation satellite (ALOS), nicknamed "Daichi," (meaning "Earth"). The decision was made public at the Second Meeting of the Japan-Brazil Dialogue on the Environment on February 15, 2008, in a move to further support Brazil's efforts in tackling climate change and dealing with other environmental challenges.

Daichi -- one of the world's largest earth-observation satellites -- was launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on January 24, 2006. It is mounted with the Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR), a microwave sensor that receives the bounced radio wave reflections first transmitted by the satellite, which enables photography even at night or through clouds. L-band microwaves can penetrate forests and even reach the ground, making the technology suitable for observing lower parts of the forest canopy.

Under an agreement with the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Resources (IBAMA), JAXA has been using observation images produced by Daichi to identify deforested areas in the Amazon basin, including illegal logging sites, since September 2007.

The technological assistance Japan most recently committed is aimed at strengthening the Brazilian government's surveillance of illegal logging, by combining the Daichi data with the existing Amazon surveillance system to better monitor and control illegal logging. It also includes providing technical training in image processing, as well as helping to enhance cooperation among related institutions. Both governments hope that this satellite surveillance system will stem further loss of the Amazon rainforest.
- New Aerospace Agency to Monitor Environment from Space (Related JFS article)

Posted: 2008/06/14 09:56:34 AM