1. Solving Climate Change: Context

Veronique Morel is the Head of the Earth Observation & Mapping team for Ecometrica. Ecometrica is an SME providing expertise, data and software on environmental metrics. Ecometrica’s cloud-based Mapping Platform is used for sharing and publishing environmental data between over 30 leading Universities and research organisations, and its award winning greenhouse gas accounting software is used by over 250 private companies.

What are Ecometrica’s projects about?

Ecometrica currently have several projects that use open resources and content for real world solutions.

One example is a project that aims at identifying and quantifying how different agricultural products contribute to the causes of deforestation and forest degradation in different regions.

Commercial suppliers of food products can use this information to better understand where deforestation is happening in their supply chains and how best to reduce their impacts on forests.

What is the process for developing a project like this, and what types of resources do you need?

This particular project uses a combination of satellite imagery and field surveys. Ecometrica use free and open access radar and optical satellite data provided by the European Space Agency from their Sentinel satellites as well as commercial L-band radar from the Japanese Space Agency.

Deforestation and degradation in some regions like east Africa is often very small scale for subsistence farming or wood fuel collection, so it’s difficult to identify clear areas of forest loss using optical satellite data alone. Because of this and because cloud-cover can limit the use of optical imagery in tropical regions, Ecometrica using a method developed by researchers at the School of Geosciences at the University of Edinburgh to map losses in biomass in African woodlands using radar backscatter.

Does Ecometrica use resources from the University of Edinburgh?

We are very familiar with University of Edinburgh’s resources – we often use the Edinburgh Research Explorer to source up-to-date research papers, many of them Open Access. These publications include peer-reviewed GIS and satellite image processing methods, that can be adapted to provide our clients with cost-effective solutions to environmental impact monitoring that are produced in a scientifically sound and transparent way.

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Key Open Access scholarly works