Vietnam – From REDD+ Readiness to Results-based Payments
Vietnam forest landscape (credit/source: James Vogelman)
At the end of October 2020, Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development signed a landmark agreement with the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), unlocking up to US $51.5 million for Vietnam’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation between now and 2025. With this Emission Reductions Payment Agreement (ERPA) in place, Vietnam is expected to reduce 10.3 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions from six North Central Region provinces of Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, and Thua Thien Hue.
This milestone achievement is a result of ten years of continuous hard work by different institutional partners and stakeholders, resulting in a robust national system that will enable Vietnam to meet its climate change targets. During this period, REDD+ became well integrated in Vietnam’s forestry and land-use planning decision making, with the overall process being managed by a State Steering Committee.
A significant share of the country’s REDD+ readiness efforts was dedicated to developing a National Forest Monitoring System (NFMS), which supports a variety of other natural resource management and conservation objectives in addition to REDD+. In collaboration with the Vietnam Government and international programs and donors, SilvaCarbon supported the NFMS development across all three NFMS components: (1) Remote sensing, (2) National Forest Inventory, and (3) Greenhouse Gas Inventory.
Vietnam is the first country in the Asia-Pacific region and the fifth country in the world to sign the ERPA with FCPF. As other countries are approaching this milestone, it is an important time to reflect on the significant progress made by technical agencies across the Asia-Pacific region in embracing new technologies and strengthening capacities for forest monitoring.
However, Vietnam’s example also demonstrates that even for countries with very supportive leadership, transformational changes in the forestry sector take time. Long-term partnerships and continuous technical collaboration and exchange are essential for advancing progress.
SilvaCarbon is looking forward to continuing its collaboration with the Government of Vietnam in this new phase of result-based payment implementation and forest sector investments. Contact: Vo Viet Cuong, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cameroon – National Forest Inventory Field Manual Update
Yaounde, Cameroon / November 2020–January 2021
SilvaCarbon is providing technical support to the Cameroon Department of Forest Inventory for implementation of the next National Forest Inventory (NFI). This support has been focused on revising and adopting a new forest field inventory field manual and reviewing the existing NFI institutional framework. Contact: Olivier Sene, email@example.com.
Cameroon – Estimating Forest Degradation using CODED
Mbankomo, Cameroon / August–December 2020
SilvaCarbon facilitated a training for members of Cameroon’s national Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) team on the use of the Continuous Degradation Detection (CODED) tool to estimate and monitor forest degradation. CODED is an algorithm developed for monitoring low-magnitude forest disturbances using freely available Landsat data in conjunction with the Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform. Contact: Olivier Sene, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cameroon – Forest Cover Loss Atlas
Yaoundé, Cameroon / June–December 2020
SilvaCarbon has been supporting the Cameroon MRV team to revise a national forest/non-forest map and produce an atlas of forest and land cover change maps from 2000 to 2018. The atlas is currently being finalized and will be endorsed by the Cameroon government upon completion. Contact: Olivier Sene, email@example.com.
DRC – Estimating Forest Degradation Using CODED
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Virtual / August–November 2020
SilvaCarbon, in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), conducted a series of virtual training sessions for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Department of Forest Inventory and Zoning (DIAF) to support improved estimation of forest cover change. The training series focused on analyzing forest degradation using the CODED tool, following up on an initial introductory training provided in January. Contact: Vanessa Filippini, firstname.lastname@example.org.
ROC – Workshop on UNFCCC Guidelines and Guidance for GHG Reporting
Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo / October 1–3, 2020
A SilvaCarbon-supported workshop for partners in the Republic of the Congo (ROC) focused on reviewing the greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting requirements of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to inform the preparation of the country’s Third National Communication. The objectives of the workshop were to (1) support national experts, professionals, and other stakeholders in understanding the concepts, elements, and reporting requirements resulting from negotiations at the UNFCCC Conference of Parties with regards to the measurement, notification, and verification framework applicable to developing countries; and (2) take stock of the preparation of the Third National Communication through the facilitation of exchanges between the different thematic working groups involved in the exercise. The workshop was coordinated by the ROC Climate Fellow. Contact: René Siwe, email@example.com.
ROC – Forest Cover Change Assessment
Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo / September 14–18, 2020
SilvaCarbon has been supporting a series of ongoing technical workshops, together with partners, focused on assessing forest cover change in ROC. In September, a collaboration with the Coalition for Rainforest Nations (CfRN) and FAO provided targeted training to national experts on the use of the Collect Earth Online (CEO) tool to generate Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)-compliant land cover/use statistics. In October, a training was held to strengthen knowledge and skills in the application of the CODED tool, following a previous introductory training. The next two workshops, scheduled for January – March 2021, will contribute to the determination of IPCC-compliant land use change statistics to inform the country’s First Biennial Update Report. The workshops are coordinated by the ROC Climate Fellow in conjunction with others. Contact: René Siwe, firstname.lastname@example.org.
ROC – Improving Emissions Estimation using R
Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo / August 10–14, 2020
An August workshop supported by SilvaCarbon focused on strengthening the capacity of the National Center for the Inventory and Management of Forest and Wildlife Resources (CNIAF) to use the R statistical program for forest monitoring applications. Background knowledge on R will enhance the ability of national experts to analyze NFI data and derive emission factors. This training is envisioned as a prerequisite for a subsequent training on applying the Open Foris Calc tool in NFI data analysis. The workshop was coordinated by the ROC Climate Fellow. Contact: René Siwe, email@example.com.
ROC – Establishment of a Database Management System
Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo / July–December 2020
With SilvaCarbon support, ROC is establishing a computer network system and central server to consolidate and store data and information related to the National Forest Monitoring System. The first phase of network installation has been completed and a protocol has been established for structuring, storing, backing up, and archiving data on the server. Data and information (satellite images, vector files, raster data, reports, photos, etc.) has been stored on the central server and access rights given to members of the MRV Cell and other CNIAF staff. The server has the capacity to store all datasets available in the institution. The database management unit of the MRV Cell will receive training on how to manage and maintain the system. This effort is coordinated by the ROC Climate Fellow. Contact: René Siwe, firstname.lastname@example.org.
ROC – Training on GHG Accounting
Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo / June–December 2020
SilvaCarbon is supporting targeted online training in GHG accounting for members of the ROC national MRV Cell and the Technical Working Group on Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) for the preparation of the Third National GHG Communication. The online courses are provided through the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute. The first course, IPCC 501 – Introduction and Cross-cutting Issues, enables participants to learn fundamental processes and techniques for compiling an inventory of GHG emissions and removals. The second course, IPCC 541 – Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use, provides lessons on the emission sources and removal sinks and estimation methodologies for the forestry and other land use sector based on the 2006 IPCC Guidelines. This effort is coordinated by the ROC Climate Fellow. Contact: René Siwe, email@example.com.
Ethiopia – ISFL Support
Oromia, Ethiopia and Virtual / September–December 2020
As part of SilvaCarbon’s technical support to the Biocarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes (ISFL) program in Ethiopia, a draft GHG livestock inventory for the Oromia region was completed and is currently undergoing technical review. Livestock data collection survey tools were developed and tested in the field with over 70 smallholder farmer interviews, resulting in a list of recommendations. Finally, a data gaps analysis was completed that outlines areas that can be addressed to improve livestock emission data quality and availability. The aim these efforts is to inform the establishment of an operational MRV livestock system in Oromia under the ISFL program. Contact: Olivia Freeman, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zambia – ISFL Support
Lusaka, Zambia and Virtual / August–December 2020
SilvaCarbon is assisting partners in Zambia to meet the emissions reductions requirements for the ISFL program in Zambia (ZIFLP). The development of an online REDD+ registry has begun with initial consultations held and a web interface designed. Technical support is being provided to the Zambia Environmental Management Agency and cross-sectoral Government agencies. This support has included a stakeholder consultation on GHG data availability and collection for the agriculture and livestock sectors, a review of the draft ZIFLP emission baseline, and backstopping sector leads and technical working groups (April – September 2020). Contact: Sebastian Wesselman, email@example.com and Keyvan Izadi, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nepal – Harmonizing Land Cover Maps
Nepal (various locations) / September 25–October 11, 2020
Field validation in an alpine meadow in Nepal (credit/source: FRTC, Nepal)
In 2019, in collaboration with the SERVIR hub for the Hindu-Kush Himalaya region (HKH), SilvaCarbon supported the Nepal Forest Research Training Centre (FRTC) to produce updated annual land cover maps for the period of 2000-2019. The maps were developed through a participatory process that involved relevant land use management and planning agencies. In fall of 2020, FRTC led a field validation effort together with the Department of Survey, Department of Agriculture, and the Central Bureau of Statistics.The team used an ArcGIS offline survey application to capture nine (from eleven in total) land classes. The field validation helped to finalize the accuracy assessment of the new land cover maps, which are currently pending final approval by the National Validation Committee. Contact: Marija Kono, email@example.com.
Vietnam – Training-of-Trainers for Mapping System Development
Hanoi, Vietnam and Virtual / September–October 2020
A SilvaCarbon-supported collaboration initiated in FY17 between the Vietnam Forest inventory and Planning Institute (FIPI) and University of Maryland (UMD) led to the integration of the UMD Global Land Analysis and Discovery (GLAD) forest mapping methodology in the production of annual forest cover change maps for REDD+ reporting and in Vietnam’s initial Forest Reference Emission Level (FREL). In 2020, SilvaCarbon and UMD, in collaboration with SERVIR-Mekong and close consultation with FIPI and the Vietnam National Remote Sensing Department (NRSD), designed a comprehensive training-of-trainers (TOT) approach that builds on the existing technical capacity at FIPI Headquarters. The TOT focuses on transferring the updated GLAD methodology and products for mapping change across all land use classes to technical specialists from NRSD and subnational FIPI offices. Two trainings have been delivered thus far: (1) a training from September 9-11, 2020 focused on sample-based assessment; and (2) a training from October 14-16, 2020 focused on field validation. The collaboration will continue in 2021 with the goal of contributing to a harmonized land cover map for Vietnam. Contact: Cuong Vo Viet, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lao PDR – Improving GHG Estimates from Forest Degradation
Virtual / August – December 2020
SilvaCarbon is collaborating to help gradually improve the emissions estimates from selective logging and shifting cultivation in Lao PDR. This work is being done under the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) umbrella and in close collaboration with the Lao PDR Forest Inventory and Planning Division (FIPD) and the National University of Laos (NUOL), together with the Japanese development agency (JICA) Sustainable Forest Management and REDD+ Support Project (F-REDD) and the European Commission Joint Research Center (EC-JRC). Through a total of eleven working sessions held thus far, FIPD technical specialists have developed a forest degradation classification key, designed an improved stratification sampling, and reviewed and discussed time series maps based on optical and radar data. Next steps will include integrating field stump locations, improving the models to capture seasonal changes, and finalizing the sapling design. The collaboration will continue in 2021 with the goal of generating improved forest degradation estimates for the first reporting period under the country’s Emissions Reduction Program Agreement. Contact: Marija Kono, email@example.com.
Regional – Forest Landscape Restoration Monitoring
Virtual / July–August 2020
SilvaCarbon is collaborating with FAO, Peking University, Duke University, and SERVIR-Mekong to develop a forest landscape restoration monitoring tool in FAO’s System for Earth Observations, Data Access, Processing and Analysis for Land Monitoring (SEPAL) platform. A beta version of the tool was launched on July 16, 2020 with a global webinar hosted by FAO. This was followed by a focus group for the Mekong region led by SilvaCarbon on August 13 and a focus group for East Africa led by FAO on September 23. Throughout the process, the tool developers have engaged in regular consultations with different stakeholders to discuss data layers and design the tool interface. A series of follow-up webinars will take place in early 2021 to share updates and discuss practical uptake in the Mekong region. Contact: Marija Kono, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Latin America and the Caribbean
Costa Rica – Monitoring by Points Pilot Project
Virtual / October–November 2020
A series of ongoing SilvaCarbon-supported activities is being conducted to develop national capacities in Costa Rica on the application of the Multitemporal Visual Assessment method for the monitoring of land cover and use and its changes (i.e., Monitoring by Points). The activity goals are the following: (1) develop a pilot project for the application of the Multitemporal Visual Assessment in Costa Rica; (2) document the Multitemporal Visual Assessment process (step by step); and (3) determine the economic costs and requirements (personnel and technology) to develop the Multitemporal Visual Assessment in Costa Rica. Activities completed to date include: (1) a diagnostic test; (2) a workshop on classification system use and coverage; (3) a workshop on the interpretation protocol for the methodological exercise; (4) a workshop on the use of Collect Earth Online; and (5) a technical workshop on visual interpretation of high resolution images and quality control. Contact: Randy Hamilton, email@example.com.
Costa Rica – Needs Assessment and Planning
Virtual / August–October 2020
Costa Rica was one of 25 projects that were granted GEE computing and storage capacity access as part of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) call for earth observations open source platforms. The Costa Rican government has a group of advisors including USGS SilvaCarbon to help them identify the best methodologies and tools to develop an early warning system for deforestation in the Central American region. Multiple working meetings and workshops were held with government partners in Costa Rica, GEE, and GEO as part of this initiative. Contact: Sylvia Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Panama – Forest and Ecosystems Annual Forum
Virtual / August 7, 2020
SilvaCarbon and FAO representatives delivered a presentation on the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) and the importance of global program partnerships and the collaborative efforts of initiatives such as SilvaCarbon, FAO, and GFOI on advancing the science of forest monitoring and assisting countries to build strong, scientifically sound MRV systems. Contact: Sylvia Wilson, email@example.com.
Paraguay – Consultation on Map Accuracy
Virtual / November 20, 2020
Following Paraguay’s participation in the SilvaCarbon E-Learning course on Sampling-Based Estimation of Area and Map Accuracy, SilvaCarbon and Professor Pontus Olofsson of Boston University led a consultation with the Paraguay forest institution (INFONA) and the Ministry of Environment to support their work in activity data and reporting. Contact: Sylvia Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paraguay – Forum on Earth Observation Applications
Virtual / October 4–10, 2020
SilvaCarbon was invited to share expertise in Satellite Observations for Forest Monitoring during the Paraguayan Forum on Earth Observation Applications week. Contact: Sylvia Wilson, email@example.com.
Paraguay – Needs Assessment and Planning
Virtual / September 10, 2020
SilvaCarbon experts held consultations with the Paraguay INFONA technical team to elaborate an action plan for implementing future remote sensing training. Paraguay is the first country to use the accuracy assessment and area estimation E-learning course developed by SilvaCarbon with follow-up from US statisticians using forest change data. Contact: Sylvia Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peru – Improving Sample-based Area Estimation
Virtual / November 23, 2020
A working session was held to provide partners in Peru with continued technical guidance on how to intensify their sample within map strata to achieve the desired precision of their estimates of deforestation. USFS experts Andy Lister, Craig Wayson, Chip Scott, and Randy Hamilton participated on behalf of SilvaCarbon. Representatives from Mexico’s forestry agency also participated. Contact: Craig Wayson, email@example.com.
Peru – Systematic Sampling Approach Workshop Series
Virtual / July–September 2020
Peru is beginning a high-resolution imagery-based photointerpretation campaign using Collect Earth (Desktop or Online), similar to what is being done in other countries. In Peru’s project, several thousand points will be assigned to the landscape in an efficient way, and at each point location a small sub-grid of points distributed over one hectare will be interpreted and labelled with the corresponding land use/cover classes. The set of interpreted points will be used to make estimates of activity data classes for use in carbon dynamics reporting. USFS experts Andrew Lister and Randy Hamilton were invited to participate in this activity as consultants representing SilvaCarbon. A series of four two-hour meetings were held with the following objectives: (1) assist Peru to design its system by providing technical guidance and facilitating technology transfer; and (2) make connections between Peru’s monitoring system planning committee and technical counterparts from other countries and agencies. Contact: Randy Hamilton, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peru – Implementing the GLAD Forest Mapping System
Virtual / July 21, 2020
In collaboration with UMD, SilvaCarbon assisted the Ministry of Environment (MINAM) to update its Forest Reference Levels (FRL) for 2016-1018 using newly available high-resolution data and including the dry forest region. A full-day technical training took place to discuss integration of current FRL data, classifications, and other mapping components. Contact: Sylvia Wilson, email@example.com.
Regional – Integrating Data from Multiple Sensors Using GEE
Virtual / July 28–30, 2020
SilvaCarbon scientists partnered with Google Earth Engine (GEE) developers to deliver a webinar for partners in Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru to explore the multiple benefits of using the GEE platform to integrate data from Landsat and Sentinel to map land cover change. The webinar was attended by representatives of universities and governments in the three countries. Contact: Sylvia Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
SilvaCarbon Animated Explainer Video
SilvaCarbon released an animated explainer video to help communicate program goals and selected accomplishments over the past decade. The video is currently available in English and will be released in Spanish and French in coming weeks. The video can be accessed via the link below and on the SilvaCarbon website
Contact: Monica Jeada, email@example.com.
E-learning Course Development
SilvaCarbon has conceptualized a series of E-learning courses to provide free, targeted virtual training on key topics related to forest monitoring and MRV for technical teams in SilvaCarbon countries around the world. The courses are designed in part to help overcome challenges in delivering in-person training during COVID-19 travel restrictions. The first module, available now in English, Spanish, French, and Vietnamese, addresses the topic of Sampling-Based Estimation of Area and Map Accuracy. Additional courses are under development with the next module scheduled for release in early 2021. A long-term goal for the initiative is to establish an online repository of key training materials to facilitate continued access and ongoing consultation. The courses can be accessed by creating an account and logging into the US Department of Interior University website via the link below:
Contact: Sylvia Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collect Earth Online Blog
Collect Earth Online is a custom built, open-source, satellite image viewing and interpretation system developed through collaboration between SERVIR, FAO, SilvaCarbon, and other technical partners. As CEO continues to evolve through the addition of new features, training materials, and a growing user base worldwide, CEO development partners have recently launched a new CEO blog. The blog aims to provide readers with (1) updates on CEO developments, (2) thought leadership content related to mapping and tracking, (3) insight on how others are using CEO, and (4) in-depth information about new feature functionality. The CEO blog can be accessed on the CEO home page via the link below.
Contact: Sasha Gottlieb, email@example.com.
Training and Demonstration on Open Source Mapping Algorithms
SilvaCarbon is collaborating with McGill University, Boston University, The World Bank, and Google Earth Engine (GEE) to build capacity among ISFL to produce robust activity data following ISFL requirements and best practices. Within that framework, ISFL countries and other SilvaCarbon countries are testing open-source algorithms to map land use change. In December two training sessions were conducted for participants from Colombia, Zambia, Ethiopia, Ecuador, Peru, and Costa Rica. The sessions provided training on the use of the platform and demonstrated how to get started using GEE. Recordings of the sessions are available here:
Contact: Monica Jeada, firstname.lastname@example.org.
GFOI Methods and Guidance Documentation Update
The GFOI launched the third edition of its Methods and Guidance Documentation (MGD 3.0) in August 2020. The MGD has become a vital resource for developing countries seeking to establish NFMS and associated MRV procedures for REDD+. The MGD, and its online platform, REDDcompass, provide user-friendly guidance for addressing UNFCCC decisions through practical implementation of IPCC good-practice guidance. The MGD played an important role in the IPCC 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, particularly around the use of remotely sensed data. This third edition features further improvements that ensure consistency with international standards. The MGD 3.0 has been developed and rigorously reviewed through the collaborative contributions of GFOI partners, including SilvaCarbon.
ROC – Forest Cover Change Assessment
The next two workshops in a SilvaCarbon-supported series focusing on assessing forest cover change in ROC will be held in Brazzaville in early 2021. The workshops will (1) elaborate the interpretation protocol to guide data collection and interpretation for the period 1990-2017 using CEO; and (2) apply the established protocol to visually interpret satellite images and collect data related to land use/cover changes for the specified period using CEO. The outcome of the exercise will be the determination of IPCC-compliant land use change statistics that will inform the country’s First Biennial Update Report. Contact: René Siwe, email@example.com.
ROC – Monitoring Emissions and Removals in Sangha and Likoula
A SilvaCarbon-supported training workshop will be organized in Ouesso, ROC for Ministerial personnel in the Sangha and Likouala administrative departments in early 2021. The workshop is designed to strengthen capacities to monitor and measure emissions and removals in the Emission Reduction Program for the two departments. Contact: René Siwe, firstname.lastname@example.org.
New E-Learning Course
The second in a series of SilvaCarbon E-learning modules will be launched in early January 2021. The course will cover the Continuous Degradation Detection (CODED) tool. Future E-learning courses will address topics such as LandTrendr, Continuous Change Detection and Classification (CCDC), and Google Earth Engine basics (GEE101). The courses will be accessible via the US Department of Interior University
. Contact: Sylvia Wilson, email@example.com.
Women in Forest Carbon Initiative
SilvaCarbon is initiating a new global effort to better understand and address gender issues within the field of forest and carbon monitoring and MRV. The SilvaCarbon Women in Forest Carbon Initiative is comprised of two complementary components:
- Research Study: USGS is implementing a research study to identify barriers and other factors that may influence women’s engagement in the field of forest and carbon monitoring. The study is designed to inform current and future capacity-building programming by SilvaCarbon and its partners.
- Mentorship Program: USFS is piloting a mentorship program to provide additional professional development, career advancement, and networking opportunities to women currently engaged in SilvaCarbon-related work and study. The program will also establish an informal network of women at different stages in their careers, in developing countries and in the US, to draw on for further career support.
Initial findings from the gender study will be released in early 2021. The mentorship program will also be launched in early 2021. Contact: Sylvia Wilson (USGS), firstname.lastname@example.org and Sasha Gottlieb (USFS), email@example.com.
SilvaCarbon engages a diverse international community of forest and carbon monitoring practitioners, experts, and program leaders. The individuals in this community share similar professions but have unique backgrounds and interests. This Partner Profile interview series recognizes SilvaCarbon community members from around the globe and provides a platform to share their stories.
Kondjo Andre Shoko
Democratic Republic of the Congo Forest Inventory and Zoning Directorate
What is your job, and what work do you do in that role??
I am the Head of Forest Inventory Work Division at DIAF (Forest Inventory and Zoning Directorate in the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development). I am also the focal point of the ITTO organization (International Tropical Timber Organization in the DRC) and focal point for the Forest Resources Assessment (FRA/FAO).
What is your background and how did you end up in your current job?
I was hired in 1978 by DIAF (at the time known as SPIAF: permanent forest inventory service but later changed to DIAF). I started my career as a photo interpreter and then held many positions including Remote Sensing Charge and Office Manager for Tele-detection & GIS before becoming the Head of the Forest Inventory Division.
What is your organization’s mission and why is it important to you?
The main mission of the DIAF is to know and understand the DRC's forest resources. This includes dendrometric (botanical), soil, wildlife and socio-economic knowledge related to forests. The mission of DIAF is important because it allows the country to better manage its forests, biodiversity, its forest biomass (forest carbon) and its species. It also provides economic control over timber, sawing, peeling, veneering, and a better knowledge of the forest volume intended for timber exploitation at the local and international level.
What are you most excited or passionate about in your work?
I am a forester and I love the forests of my country.
What is the greatest challenge and the greatest opportunity you face in your work?
The major challenges I encounter are to know the forest well, to seek to develop it, and to fight against deforestation and degradation. A second challenge is to make the Congolese people understand the importance of good forest management, and to help the Congolese state manage its forest sustainably.
The country does not have sufficient means to manage its forests, but international donors that know the issues have financed our work. Part of the reason for this is that our forests play an important role in the face of global warming. They do photosynthesis during the 12 months of the year and capture the carbon dioxide emitted by the industries, planes, etc., and so it is the financing of the international groups, through development agencies such as FAO, USFS, JICA, and the World Bank that generate opportunities for us.
What has your experience been like working with the SilvaCarbon program?
I have actively participated in the program as the inventory manager. Through the program we benefited from training courses for engineers on topics such as soil analysis (methodology), bamboo analysis (USFS), micro study and macro zoning (USFS), training on wet forests (USFS), and allometric equations. The SilvaCarbon program has especially raised the level of scientific knowledge of the DIAF in soil analysis, carbon capitalization (allometric equation), and forest zoning.
As you consider the next five years, what do you hope to accomplish in your work?
Over the next five years we want to continue major inventory work. Our country is very big, so it is going to take time. We would also like to develop the soil map of the country (soil analysis and structure), create detailed maps of peatland areas – the Congo Basin peatlands are the largest tropical peatlands in the world. We would also like the DRC to have its own allometric equations.
What is one thing about you that others might be surprised to learn?
I am a righteous man. This is how I push the technicians under my management to work with absolute honesty. I am also involved in community development in my neighborhood. I help the orphans through my prayer group.
Do you have a role model or mentor who has significantly influenced you?
My mentor is my former director Kan Mbinzi. He was a man of values. His way of working inspired me a lot. My role models are also partners with whom we have been working for many years, Canadian Friends, and colleagues from FAO, USFS, JICA, etc. I take a lot of inspiration from them because without the partners, we could not evolve as we have. All these people gave me the desire to work properly until the end of my career.
What piece of advice would you give to young professionals in your field?
Do not stop studying, reading, and learning. Avoid making life easy! This is a way of life that I teach both my children and the technicians in my division. That's what they affectionately call me Papa.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the SilvaCarbon community?
Let's be united! Do not give up on the DRC, keep helping us.
SilvaCarbon is a multi-agency technical cooperation program of the US Government to strengthen the capacity of selected tropical countries in measuring, monitoring, and reporting forest and terrestrial carbon. Agencies that have contributed to SilvaCarbon include the US Agency for International Development (USAID), US Department of State (DOS), US Forest Service (USFS), US Geological Survey (USGS), US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Smithsonian Institution. Program funding is provided by USAID and DOS and program implementation is currently led by USFS and USGS.
SilvaCarbon is also a US Government contribution to the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI). SilvaCarbon co-leads the GFOI capacity-building component together with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).