Tropical deforestation is a common phenomenon in the tropics, gaining much attention from all sectors of societies during recent past. This is primarily because tropical forests play a vital role in providing goods and services to the humanity, maintaining balances in the planet’s ecosystem, and providing genetic storehouse of planet’s ecosystem. Information on the present status of these vast resources and their rate of change, however, is not available readily. Until recently, collecting accurate data on tropical forests across the globe was a difficult task. The emerging technologies of satellite remote sensing and geographical information systems provide new ways for us to observe and understand the Earth's resources.
The TREES (TRopical Ecosystem Environment Observations by Satellites) Project was established in 1991 by European Commission's Joint Research Centre to collect accurate and up-to-date data of the Earth's tropical forest resources. The results of the project will contribute to a better understanding of the world's tropical forest in the global environment - pinpointing where and why forests are disappearing. The present initiative is a subset of TREES II project jointly implemented by UNEP Environment Assessment Programme for Asia and the Pacific and Joint Research Center, Ispra, Italy.
The broad goal of the project is to monitor the deforestation processes in selected sample sites in Myanmar. The specific objectives include: