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NOTE that the GEO-FCT task has been integrated into GFOI, and the information on this website may no longer be current. For up to date information, please refer to gfoi.org.


The Forest Carbon Tracking Task (GEO FCT) has been established to support countries wanting to establish national forest-change, carbon estimation and reporting systems. It will facilitate access to long-term satellite, airborne and in situ data, provide the associated analysis and prediction tools, and create the appropriate framework and technical standards for a global network of national forest carbon tracking systems. The task follows the guidelines set out by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Its outputs will be available to support interested countries in their efforts to implement the Convention. The task is being carried out by a partnership of GEO member governments, key UN bodies, space agencies, the science community and the private sector.

What is GEO? GEO was launched in response to calls for action by the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development and by the G8 (Group of Eight) leading industrialized countries, to coordinate the construction of a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), as a way to assist developed and developing country governments to respond better to disasters, manage their resources and promote the well-being of their citizens. Since 2005, the Group on Earth Observation (GEO) has grown to become a partnership between close to 80 governments and 56 leading international organisations.

For more information please see the GEO FCT Brochure by clicking here.


The GEO Forest Carbon Tracking Task seeks to:

  1. Define a set of standards, methods and requirements that future spatially explicit National Forest Monitoring and Carbon Accounting Systems could adopt, to provide the most accurate results relying on the full potential of existing observational and processing capabilities.
  2. Coordinate the use of data from current and planned Earth observing satellites operated by GEO member countries to provide the technical capability and continuity to support the monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) information required by future regulatory frameworks for the inclusion of forests in post-Kyoto climate agreements.
  3. Coordinate the use of in-situ data, models and verification techniques, considered here as essential elements of future MRV systems.
  4. Secure time-series of SAR and optical satellite data and analysis tools, integrated with ecosystem models and in-situ data, that can be used interoperably and in complementary ways to support the information needs of MRV systems for FCT.
  5. Appropriate international institutional frameworks, and supporting data policies allowing open access and application of the supporting satellite datasets will be essential to secure the sustained supply of information in support of MRV requirements.