Satellite images and data provide critical information to better understand the complex processes between forests, land use and climate change, and to inform decision makers who work on the management of natural resources and on strategies to cope with climate change.
Although satellite data is readily available in developed countries, access remains a challenge for scientists in the developing world. The GOFC-GOLD program is a coordinated effort to improve developing countries’ access to existing data, increase scientists’ capacity to produce and analyze new data, and foster regional and international networks of scientists working on land cover and forest change issues.
START coordinates capacity building efforts within GOFC-GOLD, by organizing or supporting training and learning events, including Data Initiative workshops providing early-career scientists with knowledge and resources for accessing and using earth observation data. START also promotes the participation of scientists from the GOFC-GOLD networks in international events, an opportunity to learn, connect and exchange knowledge and information with a larger community of scientists.
GOFC-GOLD is a coordinated global effort involving space agencies, international organizations, including United Nations agencies, universities and research organizations. START’s efforts are funded by a grant from NASA, and START works closely on this project with NASA, the US Geological Survey’s Center for Earth Resources Observation and Science (USGS-EROS), Boston University, the University of Maryland, GOFC-GOLD Regional Networks and a range of universities, space agencies and NGOs in partner countries throughout the world.