GRAS Fire Alerts to monitor deforestation activities

6 Sept 2019 – The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on “Climate Change and Land”, published in August, sheds another critical light on the on-going global land use change. As stated in the report, net GHG emissions from land use and land use change are to a large part due to deforestation. The extensive deforestation activities currently happening particularly within the Amazon rainforest in Brazil emphasize the urgent need to widely implement and monitor deforestation-free supply chains.

This can be efficiently done using the GRAS Tool. Besides recent and historic land use change, the GRAS Tool displays forest fires detected by satellite imagery within high-biodiverse and high-carbon-stock areas. In addition, the Fire Alert System implemented in the Tool, informs registered users when forest fires are detected within their area of interest. On that basis, the GRAS Tool may be used not only by companies to monitor deforestation activities within their sourcing areas, but also by political institutions who want to verify no-deforestation commitments of companies or partners.

The picture from the GRAS Tool on the right shows forest fires at the edge of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil from the end of August. The satellite image from Indonesia below shows that fires occurred close to existing agricultural production areas, confirming the assumption that natrual vegetation is burnt-off to expand production areas, e.g. oil palm plantations.

Besides Brazil, the Fire Alert System in the GRAS Tool is also available for many other countries, including e.g. Colombia, Indonesia and Malaysia. Find out more about the GRAS Fire Alerts here.


Example of detected fires in the state of Pará, Brazil, end of August 2019, within the GRAS Tool


Sentinel-2 image from mid of August 2019, Jambi, Indonesia (Source: ESA/Copernicus)