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The UN-REDD Programme supported a workshop on “Land Cover Map Accuracy and Training Workshop on FAO SEPAL Remote Sensing Tool” jointly organised by FAO and the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF) from 2-6 May 2017 in Bogor. This training workshop provided practical technical support to Indonesia on forest change detection including deforestation and fire mapping which are vital for the advancement of REDD+ in Indonesia.

The five-day training workshop included 21 (67% male and 33% female) government officials from several agencies whose work relates to land use change detection and forest fire monitoring. These included Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF DG-Inventory and Forest Resources Monitoring, DG-Climate Change, FORDIA and three regional offices of MoEF), Geospatial Information Agency, Peatlands Restoration Agency, and National Institute of Aeronautics and Space.

The workshop was opened by Mr. Adriat Halim, Acting as the Director of Inventory and Forest Resources Monitoring, MoEF who emphasized that “…the workshop can improve the national monitoring and reporting of forest area and changes. Indonesia is interested in improving the accuracy of land cover data and this helps the calculation of greenhouse-gas emissions for climate change reporting to UNFCCC. It is also important to continue to improve the relatively good capacity of the technical staff to take advantage of these new computing facilities to make the work faster and more efficient”.

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Adam Gerrand, forestry officer, FAO RAO, noted that “REDD+ has increased the recognition and importance of forests for the potential role they can play in significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. An important part of REDD+ under the UNFCCC is the need to have a monitoring systems that are as accurate as reasonably possible, recognizing national circumstances which are limited in many countries.

The new cloud-computing capability of storing and processing data on large, fast, computers connected through the internet reduces some of the technical challenges that many countries face in using satellite imagery.”

Through a number of practical exercises, the participants gained knowledge on activity data for GHG reporting, understanding and applying IPCC classes using satellite data, monitoring forests for FREL, reducing uncertainty in results, estimation of deforestation and degradation area, and estimation of burned area from satellite data.




The main training components consisted of assessing data availability, existing sample data and maps; introducing overall concepts of accuracy assessment and change detection; Introducing available tools like Google Earth Engine, QGIS, SEPAL, R, Collect Earth; a refresher on using Collect Earth; testing change detection in Google Earth Engine using points from Collect Earth exercise as training data; designing an accuracy assessment and processing the results in SEPAL; and using SEPAL to prepare draft burnt-area maps.

The Evaluation Report shows that the workshop was highly successful overall with the vast majority of participants saying they were very satisfied with the workshop (84%). Almost all participants (90%) said the combination of methodologies including lots of hand-on computer use during the workshop was effective and that they wanted to do more training on FAO remote sensing tools like Collect Earth and SEPAL. FAO and the UN-REDD Programme will discuss with several agencies to run additional courses in the future. 

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Participants worked in small groups or on their own computers to do practical exercises to process satellite imagery.


(Photos Aditya Eka Permadi)

Please access workshop material here:

Workshop report

Notes - Change detection and segmentation Tutorial and resources

More information is available from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For information on FAO Collect Earth:  

The SEPAL tool is still in beta-development, for more information you can contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">


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