The  main  purpose  of  the  ESA DUE  GlobBiomass  project  is  to  better characterise  and  to  reduce  uncertainties  of  AGB  estimates  by  developing  an  innovative synergistic mapping approach in five regional sites for the epochs 2005, 2010 and 2015 and for  one  global  map  for  the  year  2010.  The  project  team  includes  the  leading  Earth Observation  experts  of  Europe  and  is  linked  through  Partnership  Agreements  with further national bodies from Brazil, Canada, China, Russia and South Africa. Progress will be closely monitored  by  an  Advisory  Board  and  a  User  Group  and  further  intergovernmental organisations included through Letters of Interest.

The project is funded by ESA under ESA Contract No. 4000113100/14/I-NB.


The goal of the GlobBiomass project is to demonstrate how EO observation data can be integrated with in situ measurements and ecological understanding to provide improved biomass estimates that can be effectively exploited by users.

The target users will mainly be drawn from the climate and carbon cycle modelling communities, but will include users concerned with carbon emissions and uptake due to biomass changes within initiatives such as REDD+. It will provide a harmonised structure that can be immediately exploited to address user needs for biomass information, but will be capable of being progressively refined as new data and methods become available.


The project develops an innovative synergistic mapping approach by combining SAR, LiDAR and optical datasets, further supported by auxiliary EO-derived products (land cover, land surface temperature etc.) and in situ information. Furthermore, the biomass estimation will rely as much as possible on physically-based methods and adapt to regional forest and environmental conditions. The objectives are focused on delivering information of high scientific, environmental, social and political value.

Expected Outcome, Impacts and Benefits for Users

The GlobBiomass products will serve three different user communities:

  • SCIENCE – Carbon Cycle Sciences
  • POLICY – National Forest Inventories and REDD+
  • INDUSTRY – timer production and certification

Outcome on regional and global scale:

  • reducing uncertainties: modelling, estimating, observation and monitoring
  • improving national carbon reporting, land management, capacity building in REDD+
  • improving harvest methods, forest resource planning, auditing remote areas
  • improving global carbon modelling and estimation of carbon sources and sinks
  • trans-boundary monitoring of logging, estimates of fuel wood for management
  • detecting large, industrial logging disturbances, deforestation and degradation

The versatility and relevance of the listed application domains for the regional and one global map products illustrate the importance and timeliness of the GlobBiomass project.

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