Zooming in on Suriname's deforestation on a very fine scale from 2018 to 2021. © GlobEO
© GlobEO Zooming in on Suriname's deforestation on a very fine scale from 2018 to 2021.

Representing half of the world’s forests, the tropical forest is seriously threatened. In 2019, the equivalent of a football stadium is destroyed every two seconds. Tropisco is a Space Climate Observatory (SCO) project which is also part of the work of the Scientific Expertise Council (CES) Forest biomass and change in forest cover of the THEIA hub. TropiSCO aims to map deforested areas in near real time and publish the information so that public policies can intervene, alert public opinion and report on lost areas.
Since 2012, The THEIA land surfaces data and services hub provides for the national and international scientific community and public environmental resource monitoring and management policies a vast portfolio of value-added satellite data products, software, algorithms and image processing to support observation of land surfaces.

Thanks to the collaboration of French spatial agency CNES, the Frech CESBIO laboratory and the French startup GlobEO, an innovative approach has been developed, implemented and tested in many territories. Based on the use of time series of radar images from the European Sentinel-1 system, this approach has the advantage of detecting deforested areas quickly, systematically and in all seasons. This new method has proven itself operationally in regions and countries   such as Guyana, Gabon, Vietnam, Laos and Peru. The next step is to implement these algorithms on a large scale, across the entire tropical belt.

Video presentation of the project during the workshop “The uses of remote sensing for the forest”, organized by the Theia cluster, on October 11, 2021 in Montpellier

Based solely on Sentinel-1 radar data , TropiSCO provides automatic detection of tropical deforestation every 6-12 days, regardless of weather conditions.

The web interface is being developed to visualize the evolution of deforestation since 2018 in the three experimental territories: Southeast Asia, Amazonia and Gabon.

Maps can be downloaded for free. A simple click on a region or a country brings up the corresponding monthly and annual statistics.

To learn more about the TropiSCO project: