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Remote Sensing for the Audit and Assurance of the Carbon Market

By: Montgomery, M.N.; Cunningham, K.W.;

2011 / IEEE / 978-1-61284-634-7


This item was taken from the IEEE Conference ' Remote Sensing for the Audit and Assurance of the Carbon Market ' The United Nations REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) program has made forest preservation a priority, in part because forests sequester carbon and have made carbon value a new global currency. Large money transfers between nations for forest preservation are occurring, and credits for voluntary carbon standards (VCS) are already being traded. The 2011 market is US$30 billion and, by 2020, will include an estimated US$100 billion in UN-administered funding [1]. Driving this market will be the voluntary trading of carbon as a commodity. Several academic and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are now monitoring deforestation and forest degradation using satellite remote sensing. Imagery archives in Europe and the United States are publicly available and in use. These archives have been used to establish baseline forest measurements necessary to quantify deforestation. Quantifiable forest measurements allow experts to understand not only deforestation and forest degradation, but also the conservation performance of those Nations participating in the UN-administered REDD+ funding. This performance measurement is key to assuring the transparent function of the VCS market. Independent audits are standard accounting practice in the operation of global industries, and third-party assurance will be needed for the healthy functioning of global financial markets at the center of the REDD+ program. This paper will review the state of remote sensing for REDD+ and its role in the third-party audit and assurance processes used to validate the transparency of the VCS market.