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ReCover completed in 2013

ReCover was completed in December 2013. The Final Meeting and Users Workshop was held in connection with the COP19 in Warsaw. The discussions with the users and other REDD stakeholders for the continuation and further development of the services have also been completed.

In 2013 ReCover delivered 90 products to users.

Fighting deforestation

The ReCover project aimed at developing service capabilities beyond the state-of-the-art, in order to support the fight against deforestation and forest degradation in the tropical region, within the context of REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). REDD has been and will be a major driver in the development of more effective and reliable procedures for monitoring tropical forests.

Biomass change maps are typical ReCover products.

Focus areas of ReCover research

The ReCover project contributed to the decrease of errors in estimating the terrestrial carbon balance, arising from uncertain rates of tropical deforestation. This was achieved by developing and implementing satellite image based methods for the monitoring of tropical forests. ReCover research  contributed to the MRV (Measurement, Reporting, Verification) process of REDD+, by developing novel methods for:

–  The collection of activity data, i.e. the
      IPCC-compliant six land use classes: forest land,
      cropland, grassland, wetlands, settlements, other
      land – Tier 2.

–  The estimation of carbon stock per unit area, also
      using satellite data to support Tier 3 approaches.

Products resulting from ReCover can also be used to promote sustainable forest management.

Local collaboration strengthens the impact value of ReCover.

Impact through collaboration with local users

The high impact value of ReCover was achieved by working directly for and with users and local research partners. This included:

–  Service contents adapted to user
      requirements and specified in the Service Level
      Agreement between the user and service provider.

–  User workshops and training to support capacity

–  Project results disseminated in collaboration
       with users.

The long-term service sustainability was also concerned, including evaluation of the potential of new missions such as the ESA Sentinels.


The three-year ReCover project launched in November 2010 was funded under the Framework 7 Theme Space program of the European Commission.


Tuomas Häme
Research Professor