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Forest products such as paper, wood and composite materials are used in everything from construction to news distribution and energy generation, yet they may represent considerable environmental and social impacts. Today, knowing the origin and life cycle of product parts is important for both retailers and consumers. Independent certification of raw materials provides manufacturers with confidence about their environmental and social integrity. The international standards developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) provide a leading example of a forest product certification system, designed to make sure forestry certification processes remain efficient, effective and transparent.

The Consortium, which includes FSC (http://www.fsc.org), will design and validate a solution based on the integration of spatial and georeferenced in situ data within a user-friendly Open Source GIS platform accessible through the web from any connected location.  To facilitate the certifier’s field inspection process, it will combine accurately time-tagged optical and radar satellite imagery (at medium to high resolution) with geo-referenced in-situ forest management data.

Outputs will be integrated into the certifier’s report, increasing transparency for all stakeholders. TransparentForests will increase certifier independence and the ability of other stakeholders (e.g. forestry organizations, interested stakeholders and NGOs) to monitor forest activity in a more cost effective and participative way.   

The Consortium includes FSC, sarmap (http://www.sarmap.ch), Environment Systems (http://www.envisys.co.uk), Lutra Consulting (http://www.lutraconsulting.co.uk) and Nottingham Geospatial Institute ( http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/grace/about/ngi.aspx) and G-H Consulting Ltd.   

A consortium led by GeoVille (Austria) including Metria (Sweden), ARGANS (United Kingdom), Irbaris (United Kingdom) and Eyre Consulting (United Kingdom) will expand the Market for EO based information services for the ecosystem services assessment sector. The consortium combines world-class expertise in land, coastal and marine applications with in-depth knowledge about the ecosystem service assessment market and experience in the introduction of EO services into new sectors. The G-ECO-MON project was launched 17 December 2012 and over the next 18 months expand the uptake of EO based information products and services for ecosystem service assessment. This includes an increased engagement of user organisations and stakeholders in the use of EO based information and an expansion of the integration of EO based information in standardised models and evaluation protocols for ecosystem service assessment. The users and stakeholders of the project will receive appropriate, best-practice services under operational conditions and the provided services will be assessed within demonstration projects in terms of their impact, benefits and utility.
Consortium members
GeoVille Information Systems GmbH, Austria http://www.geoville.com
Metria http://www.metria.se 
ARGANS Ltd http://www.argans.co.uk
Irbaris LLP http://www.argans.co.uk