This program develops techniques to detect, quantify and monitor, using satellite images, deforestation, timber harvesting, the non-official roads and other forms of human pressure. The results of those surveys are stored in a databank coupled to a GIS (Geographic Information System), which allows rapid generation of information to meet external demands in the area of regional planning and Ecological Economic Zoning. The research activities in this program are:
Detection of environmental risks
Deals with regional diagnoses of human pressure in the Amazon and models of the economic reach of land use activities (timber harvesting, ranching and soy). Those studies provide an information base to identify threats to Protected Areas and to those with the potential for conservation. Additionally, they are useful for modeling future scenarios for the Amazon, such as the impacts of road paving and construction of hydroelectric projects.
Mapping of deforested areas
Development of techniques for processing satellite images to detect deforestation and periodically monitor it. Such methods of forest monitoring and control have been transferred to final users such as the State Secretariats for the Environment in the Amazon, Public Prosecution Service and NGOs.
Mapping of timber harvesting
Imazon is a pioneer in development of techniques for processing satellite images to identify and map timber harvesting and forests degraded by fire and repeated logging. Currently, those techniques are being tested in order to assess the effectiveness and quality of forest management plans.
Mapping of forest typologies
The Institute utilizes satellite data fusion techniques for detailed mapping of forest typologies at the 1:50.000 scale. The data utilized include radar images (JERS-1) acquired during dry and rainy periods, topography (SRTM), Landsat images and deforestation maps. This type of information is used for detailing potential areas for creating Sustainable Use Conservation Units, such as Flonas (National Forests) and Flotas (State Forests).
Mapping of roads
This is a survey of the location of non-official roads in the Legal Amazon based on Landsat images. That information is used to assess human pressure, identify priority areas for enforcement and land title organization, and model the economic reach and environmental risk for economic activities in the Amazon.
Coordination: Carlos Souza Jr.
Staff: Amintas Brandão, André Monteiro, Antônio Victor da Fonseca, Heron Martins, João Victor Siqueira, Júlia Gabriela Ribeiro, Kátia Pereira, Luís Augusto Oliveira, Márcio Sales, Rodney Salomão, Sâmia Nunes, Victor Lins.