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CTrees launches world’s first global radar-based forest disturbance alert system

NGO launches pioneering system providing global forest monitoring to everyone

September 14, 2023  By CTrees

An example of LUCA: Forest disturbance from small-scale agriculture and industrial agroforestry expansion in Kalimantan, Indonesia, 2018-2023. Photo: CTree.

Today, non-profit organization CTrees launched Land Use Change Alert (LUCA), the world’s first global radar-based forest disturbance alert system.

Unique in its ability to cover all forest biomes, LUCA leverages data from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel 1 radar satellite system to fill a critical gap in global forest monitoring. It revolutionizes the understanding of forest disturbances — including all forms of deforestation and degradation — by providing near-real-time information on forests worldwide.

Available for free on the CTrees website, LUCA is set to become an indispensable resource for policymakers, law enforcement agencies, carbon market participants, academics, and think tanks — providing unparalleled speed and accuracy in identifying, addressing, and accounting for forest disturbances.

Use cases include:

  • EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) can use LUCA to verify deforestation-free product compliance and enable greater control of commodity supply change management.
  • Law enforcement agencies can leverage LUCA’s rapid alert system to enable quicker interventions against illegal logging or land use changes.
  • Carbon market participants can use LUCA to address a long-standing need for improved monitoring and reporting processes, offering a new level of verification and integrity for forest-based carbon offset projects.
  • Policymakers can benefit from the system’s near-real-time monitoring and trend analysis capabilities, providing a data-driven foundation for effective and timely forest conservation policies.
  • Think tanks and academic researchers can delve into the system’s rich historical data to identify long-term patterns and drivers of deforestation, thereby informing public discourse and policy recommendations.

LUCA includes historical data dating back to January 2018 and employs state-of-the-art Machine Learning capabilities to ensure precise analysis. This enables previously unavailable trend evaluations, which is crucial for designing targeted policy interventions.

LUCA can be downloaded here for free.

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