Developing consistency & credibility by improving accuracy & reducing costs for REDD+ forest carbon inventories

REDD+ solutions to climate change continue to gain importance on the basis of dire reports on the implications of continued anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/04/climate-change-deforestation-global-warming-report

As forest carbon is an invisible commodity, auditors provide the market legitimacy so that forest carbon offsets can be registered and sold to provide legitimate sequestration/emission reduction benefits.  My recent research looking at all 70 global forest carbon projects that have been successfully registered to date found that although remote sensing data for assessing historical baselines is becoming more accessible (such as through Global Forest Watch), auditors still primarily rely on the examination of forest carbon inventories to determine the quantity of offsets which may be legitimately registered.  Forest carbon audit reports frequently mentioned inconsistent field data acquisition methods, missing data, and improperly calculated data.  These recurring errors across multiple projects cause needless delays and expense for REDD+ project developers.

My proposed solution is to develop the world's first tablet-based forest carbon inventory software (the International Forest Carbon Cruiser (IFCC)) to be sold to REDD+ project developers on an annual subscription basis.   The software will be based on an established commercial forest inventory tablet program in the USA and will be modified specifically for conducting forest carbon inventories globally.  Among the modifications will be a set of illustrated standardized operating procedures (SOPs) to provide consistent step-by-step training to a wide audience (from community members to experienced field foresters) on the current scientifically established methods for conducting forest carbon inventories.  The software will be metric based,  will be translated into various languages as necessary, and will work off-line.  I am seeking funds to pay for the SOP illustration and the software coding.  My qualification involves nearly a decade working professionally on REDD+ as both an auditor and project developer globally after earning a Ph.D. in forestry at the University of Vermont.  Please see this draft webpage for more information: http://fosterforestry.com

Risks and challenges

I am modifying an existing USA commercial forestry platform so I don't perceive many risks at this point. I am planning to have a demo ready for field testing during the first quarter of 2019.

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    Backers will get a complementary license code for a one year subscription to the software after the software has been field-tested during the first quarter of 2019.

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