The ‘Reduction of Emissions from deforestation and forest degradation’ (REDD+) activities under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are expected to offer results-based payments to developing countries for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from forested lands. It is necessary to determine reference data on forest carbon losses against which future rates of change can be evaluated, and to have reliable methods for monitoring, reporting and verification of such changes. Advances in satellite remote sensing approaches and techniques for measuring purposes are therefore of tremendous interest. A robust example advancing such approaches, applied on the full tropical belt, is provided in the recent paper of Tyukavina et al 2015 ( Environ . Res . Lett . 10 [http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/10/7/074002] 074002 ). Data and methods are no longer an obstacle to the inclusion of REDD+ in a new climate agreement.
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