Forest Carbon: The Growing Potential of Impact Monitoring Technology
Local travel restrictions and lockdowns forced our company to innovate how we monitor, manage and verify the impact of our forest restoration project in Indonesia. As the pandemic intensified, new restrictions on foreign travel also made it impossible for auditors to enter the country for in-person verification under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and Climate Community and Biodiversity (CCB) standard.
In response, Forest Carbon dramatically accelerated its investment in technology to develop a transparent, real-time project monitoring dashboard. Developed by Sustainability Tech, a startup incubated by Forest Carbon, the dashboard processes incoming data from satellites and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to send daily updates to management teams.
This sensor network is now deployed at over 70 locations across our 22,000-hectare Sumatra Merang Peatland Project in Indonesia. The technology allows our company to track regeneration across a peatland ecosystem in real time. IoT sensors can verify the efficacy of hydrological interventions by monitoring water table levels, which is critical for external audits. Infrared smoke detection cameras, powered by AI, detect fires more quickly than satellite early warning systems.
Forest Carbon successfully achieved its first remote audit of the project in 2020 using this system. Taken to scale, we believe this solution can increase transparency and build stakeholder trust in project outcomes. This technology package can also help address barriers to scale in the restoration and conservation sector, by providing management teams with robust data, accessible anywhere with an internet connection.