UPDATED 21 Jun 2024

Gold Standard’s Protocol to Assess the Accuracy of Earth Observation-Based Models in Forestry Carbon Credits

  • CONSULTATION PERIOD 30 Jun 2023 - 01 Aug 2023
  • SCOPE ACTIVITY Climate Action

To issue carbon credits for forest projects credible and accurate measurement is needed. The measures used in existing projects are expensive. By using and analysing images obtained by satellites and other remote sensing technology, so called Earth Observation (EO) data, it may be possible to reduce costs. To ensure accuracy is not compromised Gold Standard, in collaboration with SIG, are consulting on a new consistent protocol for evaluating new EO methods.

The forest carbon credit model depends on credible and accurate measurement of forest biomass. For most existing projects, credit grantors use field plots and design-based statistical estimators to establish an initial forest carbon basis and issue the initial carbon credits. However, these methods are costly. To reduce costs, private companies have proposed new approaches based on EO data and proprietary analysis methods.
Gold Standard is assessing the application of EO techniques to reduce the cost of monitoring Gold Standard projects. To ensure accurate assessment of the viability of new EO-based approaches, Gold Standard in collaboration with SIG have developed a protocol that outlines a benchmarking approach to evaluate novel EO methods proposed by private companies and other entities.

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