EARTH OBSERVATION / GIS








The Danish forest have been mapped by satellite - the project is initiated by ESA and is a part of the ESA / EU program GMES which will facilitate Earth Observation methods to be harmonized in a global context for reporting on the state of the environment.


The project has mapped forest and forest changes in Denmark between 1990 and 2005/6 and the results are used in the Danish CO 2 reporting in 2008-12 on article 3.3. and 3.4.


In addition to the forest assessment from 1990 and 2005 the project has assessed Land Use and Land Cover classes that are used for  Kyoto reporting: build-up areas, crop, grass and wetlands grasslands and changes in forest areas.

Land Use and Land Cover for Denmark in 1990


Previously, the Danish forest area has been assessed in various ways and may not be fully comparable. I.e. in the 1990'ties assessments were based upon questionnaires to forest owners and lately forest area has been based upon The Danish National Forest Inventory (NFI). The current forest mapping is based upon UN FAO forest definition (FRA 2000), where forest is defined as woody vegetation that has a cover of at least 10% in an areas of more that 0.5 ha and at least 20 m wide, that can exceed 5 m at maturity.


The Danish forest cover has been assessed to be approximately 13 % in 1990 and 14 % in 2005 - This is significant higher than previous estimates. Especially for 1990 the previous account was down to 10.9% which can be linked to difference in methodology and forest definition: Formerly definition was focused on timber trees, higher grown cover and higher trees. In the same period agricultural land has decreased from approximately 68% to 66%, while Urban/land use has increased from approximately 8 to 10%. 


Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) of Denmark - an account of changes in forest land from 1990 to 2005. 


Furthermore, an assessment has been made for Land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) which is defined by the UN Climate Change Secretariat as "A greenhouse gas inventory sector that covers emissions and removals of greenhouse gases resulting from direct human-induced land use, land-use change and forestry activities. LULUCF has impacts on the global carbon cycle and as such these activities can add or remove carbon dioxide  from the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. LULUCF has been the subject of two major reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC. Additionally, land use is of critical importance for biodiversity. Following IPCC recomandations the Danish ESA project has mapped various forest types and areas of high forest diversity of old forest which is directly linked to areas of high biodiversity.


The mapping method used for the Danish Kyoto mapping is unique, as its uses both high resolution cartographic maps and satellite images in the mapping. Basically the method take the advance of using land use information from cartographic maps and combining them with satellite derived information on cover at an exact date. 

The unique mapping method has shown to be very accurate. Verification has been made by the use of ortho-photo and overall accuracy has been found to be higher than 97% and forest accuracy approximately 96%. All products have been fully documented and quality ensured by three external sources including: GAF AG, ESA and Quali Systems Ltd.


The project is a part of the Forest Service Element (GSE-FM) of the GMES program in Denmark. The user is Forest & Landscape (FLD) and the end user is the Danish Forest and Nature Agency (SNS). The results and methods of the project is used in the Danish Kyoto/Climate reporting and will be used as an offset to future LULC and LULUCF assessment in Denmark


Client: ESA 2006-2009 / Forest and Landscape, Denmark /  Danish Forest and Nature Agency



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