Multidisciplinary consortium led by UK satellite imaging company DMCii now able to bid on global forest governance, deforestation monitoring projects through REDD+

LEICESTER, England , October 18, 2012 (press release) – A multi-disciplinary consortium, of which the University of Leicester is a member, has won a place on the Department for International Development (DfID) Forest Governance Markets and Climate (FGMC) Framework Agreement. The consortium will now be able to bid for projects to monitor forest governance and deforestation globally, and its effects on local communities.

The consortium is led by a UK satellite imaging company DMCii, that coordinates a constellation of remote Earth observation satellites with the unique capability to survey and classify vast areas of forest and to monitor changes in land use over time. This highly effective imaging system has been employed by the Brazilian space agency (INPE) since 2005, helping the authorities to quantify deforestation in the Amazon Basin and pro-actively intervene to deter illegal logging – itself advising the consortium. It is this expertise that has been crucial in helping the consortium win a place on the framework agreement.

Professor Jim Lynch, DMCii Forestry Director, commented, “We are delighted to have been accepted to the FGMC – helping reduce poverty in developing countries while combating climate change is the reason we formed our consortium. We look forward to addressing the many challenges of such rewarding and innovative projects.”

The UK's FGMC programme supports developing countries in strengthening their governance of forest resources. Under the FGMC Framework, the consortium can now compete for projects to monitor land use and forests, to understand and build methods for forest protection, to introduce a financial results-based payment system for carbon, and to analyse the impact of forest management scenarios. This could help support communities whose livelihoods depend on forest resources, whilst supporting broader UK efforts to Reduce Emissions Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) and the EU Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) action plan.

The inFORm consortium comprises commercial and academic partners, providing a nucleus of relevant expertise with which to develop local capabilities and support for sustainable forest management in communities around the world. Members complement each other with skills such as forest mapping, deforestation assessment, broad ranging Earth observation technologies, carbon accounting, timber tracking, policy development, new ideas for financial environmental markets - and a proven track record in the development of native capabilities in countries such as Colombia, D.R Congo, Indonesia and Nigeria.

Dr. Kevin Tansey and Professor Heiko Balzter from the Department of Geography at the University of Leicester are members of the consortium. Their research has involved the use of satellite images to map forests in central Siberia and South East Asia. Professor Balzter is also Director of The Centre for Landscape and Climate Research.

Notes to editor:

1. Find out more about REDD+ here http://www.un-redd.org/

2. The consortium is made up of:

• DMCii International Imaging Ltd: Satellite Data and value-added services provider and consortium lead.

• Helveta: Leader in supply chain and asset management software.

• World Resources Institute: Non-profit environmental think tank with goal of protecting the Earth and improving people’s lives.

• Astrium GeoServices: Provider of radar/optical data, GIS products and services.

• University of Leicester: University leading in research into the nature and dynamics of human-environmental systems.

• University of Surrey: The inter-disciplinary Centre for Environmental Strategy (Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences) has a global focus, and works closely with the Faculty of Management and Law.

• Carbon Auditors: Expert in carbon monitoring and verification in Land Use Change and Forestry sector.

• Z/Yen: Commercial think tank promoting societal advancement through finance and technology.

• Quarry One Eleven: Geospatial sales and marketing agency.

3. DMC International Imaging Ltd (DMCii) is a UK-based supplier of remote sensing data products and services for international Earth Observation (EO) markets. DMCii supplies programmed and archived optical satellite imagery provided by the multi-satellite Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC). DMCii’s data is used extensively in a wide variety of commercial and government applications including agriculture, forestry and environmental mapping. In partnership with the UK Space Agency and the other Disaster Monitoring Constellation member nations (Algeria, China, Nigeria, Turkey and Spain), DMCii works with the International Charter ‘Space and Major Disasters’ to provide free satellite imagery for humanitarian use in the event of major international disasters such as tsunamis, hurricanes, fires and flooding.

DMCii was formed in October 2004 and is a subsidiary of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), the world leader in small satellite technology. SSTL designed and built the Disaster Monitoring Constellation with the support of the UK Space Agency and in conjunction with the other Disaster Monitoring Constellation Consortium member nations listed above.

DMC International Imaging Ltd is not affiliated in any way with Intergraph Corp., Z/I Imaging Corp., or their registered trade mark DMC.

DMCii press releases can be downloaded from http://tinyurl.com/dmciipr and satellite imagery is available upon request.

Press contacts:

Robin Wolstenholme, bcm public relations, www.bcmpublicrelations.com

Tel: +44 (0)1306 882288 Email: r.wolstenholme@bcmpublicrelations.com

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