The Value of Satellite-Based Active Fire Data for Monitoring, Reporting and Verification of REDD+ in the Lao PDR


Shifting cultivation is a dominant land-use system in Laos, and fire is the tool commonly used to clear fallow vegetation for subsequent cultivation. We assessed the feasibility of active fire data derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) for monitoring fires in Laos. Specifically, we investigated the potential of the active fire data as input into monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) systems to assess the effectiveness of measures related to Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation plus the enhancement of forest carbon stocks (REDD+). Our qualitative and quantitative accuracy assessments of the fire data yielded mixed results with varying degrees of undetected fires and false detections. Hence, at IPCC Tier 3, the uncertainties inherent in the detection accuracy become too large. Active fire data can be valuable for supporting national-level MRV at Tier 2 in combination with auxiliary data for characterizing fire-dependent local land-use systems, such as shifting cultivation.

Human Ecology
Stefan Süß
Stefan Süß