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The role of GOFC-GOLD is to establish the link between space agencies, science community and the users of earth observation data and data products. The primary function of the Land Cover Implementation Team (LC-IT) is to develop and evaluate methods, tools and products for land cover measurements and monitoring using space-borne and in-situ observations. The LC-IT assesses current needs and deficiencies for global and regional monitoring to support Global Change research, national and regional forest inventories and international policy (i.e. through working with the UN Conventions).

The LC-IT cooperates closely with other GOFC-GOLD implementation teams and regional networks worldwide. Within this framework, the ESA LC-IT Project Office helps to strengthen the GOFC-GOLD framework, to coordinate, promote and fulfil the GOFC Land Cover implementation plan, and to support the European Space Agency and related projects and services.

Specific objectives of the LC-IT project office for the current period (2014-2016) are:

  • Progress on the monitoring of land cover as Essential Climate Variable
  • Contribute to the REDD+ process in particular trough updating the GOFC-GOLD REDD Sourcebook
  • Develop the GOFC/CEOS best practice document on accuracy assessment of land change
  • Implement an online land cover accuracy assessment database and a related user information service
  • Develop a sourcebook for biodiversity monitoring in tropical forest with remote sensing
  • Organize GOFC-GOLD LC-IT meetings, workshops, and Symposia
  • Communicate on GOFC-GOLD LC activities via scientific publications, this website, and newsletters notably

The ESA LC-IT office is led by Prof. Martin Herold (Co-chair LC-IT) jointly with Curtis Woodcock (Co-chair LC-IT) from the Boston University. The Project Office is located at the Laboratory of Geo-Information Science and Remote Sensing of the Wageningen University R, Netherlands and is funded by the European Space Agency (ESA).