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April 2015 | RSS participates in the High Carbon Stock Study synthesis meeting, Kuala Lumpur
A group of palm oil growers, traders, end users and key stakeholders have launched a new carbon stock study as part of the group’s commitment to the Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto.
The study aims to clearly define High Carbon Stock (HCS) forests, and establish HCS thresholds that take environmental concerns as well as the socio-economics and politics of developing or emerging economies into account. The study will take a wide-reaching and practical approach, using robust, scientific methods to examine four key areas: biomass, soil carbon, remote sensing and socio economics. RSS will assume responsibity for all tasks concerning remote sensing and for components of soil carbon.
Visit the HCS website here
March 2015 | RSS participates in the International Workshop on Forest Carbon Emissions
This March, Jakarta hosted a workshop to gather information on Research and Systematic Observation (RSO) (with respect to deforestation and degradation), identify gaps in RSO methodologies, design programs for capacity building, build financial schemes, and develop a paper to be presented in Paris this December.
A diversity of presentations were given by international and national forest peat carbon experts as well as practitioners. All participants came from research institutions, universities, NGOs, policy maker offices, local governments and industries.

Visit the Forest Carbon Emissions website for more information.
November 2014 | RSS supports the integrated fire management in protected areas of the Brazilian Cerrado
The Cerrado, a very species-rich savannah region in Brazil, is regularly affected by uncontrolled late dry season large-scale fires that promote deforestation, cause intensive greenhouse gas emissions and are a major threat to biodiversity.
The Brazilian-German Cooperation Project “Prevention, control and monitoring of bushfires in the Cerrado” aims at improving integrated fire management (MIF) in the Cerrado and implements controlled early burning in protected areas, to reduce the occurrence of large-scale late season fire by fragmentation of areas of different fuel load levels and thereby reducing fire severity.
The planning and implementation of controlled early burning activities is supported by RSS with geo-information on fuel load conditions derived from remote sensing data over large areas. In November 2014, a workshop was held by Brazilian authorities in Palmas (Brazil) to evaluate the first year of MIF implementation.
September 2014 | IsViews monitors volcanic activity in Bárðarbunga
Even 5 hours after the eruption in Holuhraun (north of Bárðarbunga), the IsViews team realized an aerial survey and acquired high-resolution aerial images of the area. The project aims at the support of an early warning system for volcanic eruptions in Iceland and currently monitors the volcanic activities at Bárðarbunga.

Visit the IsViews website for the latest news and images or read the (german) press release of RSS's project partner LMU.
July 2014 | 3D visualization of Hawai'i
RSS GmbH visualized the Hawaiian Islands in 3D in cooperation with BlackBridge. The interactive 3D visualization bases on high-resolution RapidEye Mosaics™ with 5m spatial resolution and a digital elevation model from NOAA with 10m spatial grid.
Enjoy the video of the beautiful Hawaiian Islands in 3D.
February 2014 | REDD+ MRV Ethiopia
RSS and BlackBridge collaborate with GIZ to strengthen REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) MRV (Monitoring, Reporting and Verification) capabilities in Ethiopia.

See the official press release for more information.
November 2013 | Copernicus Masters 2013
Eye On Malaria - Africa-wide Monitoring of Environmental Suitability for Malaria Transmission
Environmental factors are key in affecting the transmission of malaria, which can be monitored by Earth observation. EyeOnMalaria aims to develop an operational monitoring system to continuously assess the environmental suitability for malaria transmission throughout the African continent based on new European EO capacities and expert epidemiology models. The service will directly support targeted malaria control at the necessary times and locations in Africa.
  • Continuously assesses environmental factors that affect the transmission of malaria
  • Leverages new European EO capacities and expert epidemiology models
  • Directly supports targeted malaria control (times, locations)

Customer Benefit
A huge amount of international funding is allocated for malaria control (US$1.6 billion per year). Using this EO service, national malaria-control programmes will be able to apply their malaria control activities to the necessary times and locations, thus improving the cost-effectiveness of interventions.

Links:
Copernicus Masters - Winner 2013
August 2013 | Iceland 3D
In the framework of the IsViews project (Application of innovative methods using high-resolution remote sensing data for an early detection of subglacial volcanic eruptions in Iceland), RSS GmbH visualized Iceland in 3D using high-resolution data. The interactive 3D visualization was created based on RapidEye satellite imagery with 5 meters ground resolution and a Digital Elevation Model with 10 meters resolution. A multitemporal set of about 270 RapidEye image tiles were used to create an almost cloud-free and seamless image mosaic of Iceland. Part of the Vatnajökull glacier is shown in a higher resolution of 0.3 meters and was created from HRSC aerial imagery.
Watch the video to see some highlights of Iceland 3D.
IsViews is partly funded by the Bavarian Ministry of Economy, Infrastructure, Transportation and Technology.
August 2013 | Recent fires in Sumatra
RSS maps affected areas of recent fires in Sumatra with high-spatial resolution data
Once the main smoke of the recent forest fires in Sumatra disappeared, which caused massive air pollution in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, the actual extent of the damage becomes apparent using high-resolution satellite imagery. While low resolution satellite data (such as MODIS hotspots) are valuable to identify hotspots and clusters of fires over large areas, these lack the spatial detail to precisely map the extent of the burned areas. Reliable quantifications of fire affected areas, assessments of the burned land cover and estimations of carbon emissions caused by these fires require spatially detailed and up-to-date geo-information.
RSS is therefore currently mapping the burned area in the Riau province with RapidEye data with 5m spatial resolution. RapidEye data was acquired during and after the fires in June and July 2013. The high spatial resolution makes a very precise assessment of the burned area possible and even small remaining forest patches within the burned area are visible. By the use of additional pre-fire land cover information, also retrieved from satellite imagery, accurate estimates of the fire-related carbon emissions will be established by RSS. The final geo-information can also help to better understand the very complex causes of the fires through supporting local authorities and experts.

May 2013 | Capacity building workshop in Kalimantan, Indonesia
RSS and WWF Indonesia conducted a capacity building workshop for the planning of hydrological restoration measures for the rewetting of drained peatlands in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia from April 18 – April 19 2013.
Participants of the training were staff of the Sebangau National Park and the WWF Field office in Palangkaraya, as well as the Forest Administration of the Province of Central Kalimantan.
RSS provided technical training for the 25 participants, who are all employed in GIS positions in their institutions. The training agenda included topographic analysis of digital terrain models (DTM), analysis of the drainage infrastructure of the study area in Sebangau National Park and the planning of dam locations along drainage canals which are to be built in order to efficiently reduce drainage of the peat swamp.
The lowering of water tables by drainage canals causes significant Greenhouse Gas emissions from peatlands. These effects can be considerably reduced by the blocking of the canals with dams and the resulting rise in water levels in the swamps.
The training workshop was very well received by the participants and RSS was able to contribute significantly to the improvement of the local GIS capacity.

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