Wildlife and forest sustainability: Nam Et Phou National Protected Area
REDD demonstration project to access the voluntary carbon markets
The project, supported by Planet Action tools including Trimble eCognition, aims to assess the potential of a Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) demonstration activity in the Nam Et Phou Louey National Protected Area (NEPL NPA) to access the voluntary carbon markets and thus generate a sustainable source of long-term financing to fund wildlife and forest habitat protection activities. The Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area (NEPL NPA) covers 595,000 ha of mountainous terrain in northern Laos and contains one of the most important remaining populations of critically endangered Northern White-cheeked Crested Gibbons (Nomascus leucogenys) in Laos as well as being home to one of the last tiger (Panthera tigris) populations in Indochina.
One of the principal threats gibbons and tigers face in the NEPL NPA is habitat degradation and deforestation. Increasing human population, prolonged shifting cultivation and fire have resulted in forest being replaced by large patches of Imperata grasslands, bamboo and other secondary vegetation. This conversion of forests to alternative land-uses causes not only habitat degradation but also greatly contributes to climate change.
To address the loss of gibbon and tiger habitat from deforestation and forest degradation, the NPA is implementing extensive and innovative law enforcement and community outreach management interventions across the NPA. Unfortunately, sustainable financing for these management interventions is still lacking. Less than 10% of the annual NPA budget for these management interventions is from government funds such that ongoing management of the NPA for the foreseeable future continues to be largely dependent on international donors.
This project aims to combat both the threat of forest loss and the lack of sustainable financing for the NPA by undertaking the necessary preparatory activities to establish long-term financing from REDD. These activities will include a historical analysis of deforestation and degradation drivers, the development of a model to predict the spatial location of future deforestation and degradation within the park, an estimation of the carbon credit generating potential of the REDD project and an assessment of the overall feasibility of the project to access the carbon markets. If the feasibility study returns a positive assessment, WCS will subsequently undertake the necessary activities to establish REDD financing for the long-term protection of forest in the NPA landscape.
Notes to the Images
Images 1 and 2: Segments produced by eCognition from the stacked 2000 and 2004 Landsat images. Note that the segments for each date are the same. (Band combination, red = band 4, green = band 5, blue = band 3 for each date)
Image 3: Segments identifying where there was no change, a loss of vegetation or gain in vegetation between the 2000 and 2004 dates.Segments are the same as above, however, displayed on top of a color composite image that uses bands from both 2000 and 2004 (Band combination, red = band 5 from 2004, green = band 5 from 2000, blue = band 5 from 2000)
Image 4: Segments displayed according to their change in SLAVI value between 2000 and 2004. The change in SLAVI value identifies the direction of change between the two dates. This helps to inform how segments of change should be classified on the 2004 image.
Image 5: Cumulative deforestation and reforestation over ten years in the NEPL NPA
Image 6: 2010 land cover classification of the NEPL NPA