ALBO ANNOUNCES SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF PROJECT WITH UDLA, FUNDACIÓN FUTURO, TO MONITOR CARBON STOCK
Company announces successful completion of project for remote sensing of carbon stocks in Andean cloud forest.
Tel Aviv, Israel & Quito, Ecuador, November 29, 2022 – Albo Systems, based in Israel, announced that it has successfully completed a project in partnership with the Universidad De Las Américas (UDLA) and Fundación Futuro, both based in Ecuador, to produce a series of high-resolution carbon stocks map, based on remote sensing and AI, of the area of the Chocó Andino UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Mountain forest in the Chocó Andino de Pichincha Biosphere Reserve
The Chocó Andino, located Northwest of Quito, Ecuador, stretches over some 286,805 hectares and is a UNESCO Natural Heritage Biosphere Reserve. The Biosphere Reserve represents one of the last tropical mountain forest remnants of the western Ecuadorian Andes, and constitutes a global biodiversity hotspot. Likewise, its forests constitute an important carbon sink. Approximately 880,000 people live in the biosphere reserve, engaging in ecotourism, agriculture, and cattle grazing.
Following decades of deforestation, the Chocó Andino has witnessed a high density of forest conservation and restoration efforts in the last years. Since the decentralization process and the creation of the Ecuadorian REDD+ program, conservation efforts have gained importance, offering a unique opportunity to establish a compensation mechanism to restore degraded forests, reduce deforestation and enhance carbon sequestration in secondary montane forests.
Under this context, Albo Climate in a joint collaboration with environmental conservation NGO Fundación Futuro and Universidad de las Américas (UDLA) is helping to design a financial mechanism for conservation based on carbon data. The joint scientific effort by Fundación Futuro, Albo Climate and UDLA produced high resolution maps (period 2018-2021) of the carbon stocks contained in the above ground biomass (AGB) of the Chocó-Andino Biosphere reserve (Figure 1), which will subsequently be used by Fundación Futuro to monitor and report on carbon emission reduction and avoidance from the region. Concurrently, a scientific publication showcasing how digital monitoring, reporting and verification (DRMV) technologies coupled with a network of permanent plots can be used to support financial incentives for conservation is being led by UDLA, Fundación Futuro and Albo Climate, and it will be submitted by the end of November 2022.
Figure 1.Variation in aboveground carbon (AGC) storage throughout the Chocó Andino Biosphere Reserve (RBCA for its Spanish acronym) in the Western Ecuadorian Andes, derived from an integrated model of Remote Sensing, local and regional field plot datasets.
Referring to the complexity of evaluating carbon dynamics in the region, Francisco Cuesta, Deputy Scientific Director at the Universidad de Las Américas and Albo Scientific Advisor, noted that “the Chocó Andino is a challenging landscape mosaic encompassing a wide range of forest types, along environmental gradients over short distances. Nevertheless, our above ground carbon model succeeded in delivering the improved accuracy and resolution we had aimed for thanks to our ongoing research program on mountain forest dynamics based on permanent plots.”
“Our partnership with UDLA and Fundación Futuro serves as an ideal testing ground for the application of new remote-sensing technologies in combination with local data in large-scale REDD+ and carbon enhancement programs in a diverse array of regions in the Andes and elsewhere. This kind of technology has the potential to deliver the increased confidence and transparency needed to scale up the market,” noted Marco Calderón-Loor, CTO at Albo Climate.
“In this first approach with Fundación Futuro, Albo Climate and UDLA have performed exceedingly well, fulfilling our expectations, and accomplishing the goals of the project. I acknowledge the excellent work that the team has done, and we are already looking forward to further opportunities for collaboration,” says Carolina Proaño, Executive Director of Fundación Futuro.
The three parties intend to continue to collaborate, with future projects in the region focusing on AGB dynamics (carbon stocks enhancement through time) and biodiversity co-benefits.
About Albo Climate:
Albo Climate, established in 2019, is an Israel-based startup applying AI to satellite imagery to map, measure, and monitor carbon sequestration and scale-up carbon removal from Nature Based Projects. Combining geospatial monitoring and deep learning expertise, Albo Climate is developing remote sensing solutions for carbon credit verification in various ecosystems, including forestry and agriculture.
The Dean's Office for Research and Outreach at the University of the Americas is made up of eight research groups containing more than 70 researchers in the areas of health sciences, biodiversity, psychology, bioinformatics, veterinary medicine, microbiology, and economics. In the area of biodiversity, the university focuses on the generation of applied research focused on filling gaps and knowledge needs that support sustainable development and the design of public policies.
About Fundación Futuro:
Fundación Futuro is a private non-profit that develops social and environmental responsibility projects within the Ecuadorian territory. Fundación Futuro helps companies reduce their emissions and offset the emission that cannot be reduced through forest conservation.
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