SERVIR: Connecting Space to Village – Tanzania 2012

Where: Malaija Resort, Bagamoyo, Tanzania

When: November 26-30, 2012

Workshop Title: “Biomass Estimation and Mapping: From Carbon Policy to Technical Training

Woods Hole Research Center staff traveled to Bagamoyo, Tanzania to build the capacity of the region’s technical and political leaders to assess and manage their carbon stocks. This combined policy and technical workshop was organized in collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), which has partnered with WHRC to reduce carbon emissions, increase carbon sequestration, and protect and enhance biodiversity and other ecosystem services that will help to alleviate poverty in some of the poorest districts in Tanzania.

Tanzania Workshop 2012

Participants at Tanzania Workshop of 2012

The regional workshop was very successful and included a one-day policy session followed by four days of training intended for a more technical audience from the SERVIR region. Participants included representatives from NGOs, governments, and forest communities from Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Malawi, and Uganda.

WHRC staff led discussions and training sessions on tools to improve forest monitoring for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) in developing countries. Participation was limited to those with advanced knowledge of GIS, familiarity with remote sensing, basic statistics, and programming fundamentals, as well as good comprehension of English. The workshop covered the following topics:

  • Forest and carbon monitoring in Africa
  • Integration of field measurements and remotely sensed data to produce a biomass map
  • Use of open-source (free) and GIS software for forest biomass estimation
  • Data options for producing carbon maps/Google Earth Engine
  • Discussions on forest mapping in the context of REDD MRV in tropical regions
  • Introduction to field protocols and new tools (ODK and Android Smartphones)
  • Use of Google Earth Engine to run the biomass mapping model in the Cloud

View the programme below with links to workshop presentations, exercises, and reference material.

Funding and support were provided by the following institutions

Funding Agencies: NASA SERVIR – Applied Science Program and the Royal Norwegian Embassy

Partners: American Museum of Natural History – Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, the Jane Goodall Institute, Google Earth Outreach

Participant Name Country
Abel M. Siampale NASA – ZAMBIA
Abubakar M. Haji DFNNR – Zanzibar
Alessandro Baccini Woods Hole Research Center
Almas Kashindye FAO TZ
Bruno Mwano IRA-UDSM
Cheyo Mayuma Regional Secretariat – Kigoma
David Thau Google
Edmund Mabhuye IRA-UDSM
Edward Ssenyonjo National Forestry Authority – Uganda
Elias Ntibansubile TFS – DSM
Elikana M. John MNRT DSM
Faustine D. Ninga IRA-UDSM
Freddy Kimaro JGI-TZ
Fredrick Mokua RCMRD – SERVIR
Gloria Nshimanyi JGI-TZ
John Michael JGI-TZ
Jovin Lwehabura JGI-TZ
Lilian Pintea JGI-US
Maria Kapina MNRT DSM
Michael Chirwa Forestry Research Institute of Malawi
Moshi Yesse Thomas JGI-TZ
Nadine Laporte Woods Hole Research Center
Ned Horning AMNH
Niwaeli Kimambo WCS – Mbeya
Nssoko Edwin JGI-TZ
Peter Ndunda Green Belt Movement – Kenya
Phillip Mwanukuzi GEOGRAPHY – UDSM
Richard Gilliba FTI – Arusha
Samwel Mpomele Kigoma District Council
Seleboni J. Mushi UNDP/GEF Lake Tanganyika Project
Shadrack Kamenya JGI – TZ
Sitwala Wamunyima Forest Dept. – Zambia
Sylvia Kalemera Tanzania Forest Conserv. Group
Theron Brown MJUMITA
Timothy Akugizibwe JGI – UGANDA
Zakaria A. Khamis SUZA

scholars-Tanzania-IMG_0964 IMG_0978 IMG_0982 IMG_0983 IMG_0986 IMG_3159 workshop-photo-tanzania-IMG_0954 IMG_3162 IMG_3168


Learning advanced skills in GIS software at Tanzania Workshop of 2012


7:30 – 8:00 Registration – All

8:00 – 8:20 Introduction (Personal) – Dr. Lillian/Nssoko

8:20 – 8:40 Welcoming remarks from JGI – Freddy Kimaro

8:40 – 9:00 Presentation SERVIR Kenya Hub – Fredrick Mokua, RCMRD – SERVIR, Kenya

9:20 – 9:40 Presentation Malawi – Michael Chirwa, Forestry Research Institute of Malawi, Malawi

9:40 – 10:00 Village-Level REDD Accounting and Benefit Sharing Systems – Theron Brown, MJUMITA, Tanzania

10:00 – 10:30 Break

10:30 – 10:50 Presentation Woods Hole – Nadine Laporte (WHRC)

11:10 – 11:30 Presentation Kenya – Peter Ndunda (GBM/Clinton Initiative)

11:30 – 12:30 Presentation Zambia – Wamunyima Sitwala

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch

14:30 – 14:50 Quantifying Carbon Transfer: Satellite-Based Estimates VS Social Survey Estimates – Niwaeli Kimambo, Wildlife Conservation Society, Tanzania

14:50 – 15:15 Presentation Uganda – Edward Ssenyonjo

15:15 – 16:00 Break

16:00 – 16:30 Presentation SUA – Prof. Munishi

16:30 – 17:00 Presentation JGI – Dr. Lillian/Nssoko.


8:00- 8:30 Introduction & objectives – Nadine Laporte (WHRC) & Lilian Pintea (JGI)

8:30-9:00 Approaches to map biomass – Alessandro Baccini (WHRC)

9:00-9:30 Overview of open source (free) software – Ned Horning (AMNH)

9:30-10:00 Overview of algorithms – Ned Horning (AMNH)

10:00-10:30 Break

10:30-11:00 Introduction to R – Ned Horning (AMNH)

11:00- 12:30 Calculating biomass from field observations – Alessandro Baccini (WHRC)

12:30-14:30 Lunch

14:30 -15:30 MODIS Biomass mapping exercise (including scaling plot data – 273MB ZIP file) – Alessandro Baccini (WHRC)

15:30-16:00 Break

16:00-17:30 MODIS Biomass mapping exercise (continued) – 273MB ZIP file) – Alessandro Baccini (WHRC)


8:30-9:30 MODIS Biomass mapping exercise (continued) – 273MB ZIP file) – Alessandro Baccini (WHRC)

9:30-10:00 Wrap-up/Discussion from yesterday and today am class – All

10:00-10:30 Break

10:30-12:00 Introduction to segmentation (and Intro to Landsat Biomass mapping) – Ned Horning (AMNH)

12:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-15:30 Mapping biomass with Landsat – Ned Horning (AMNH)

15:30-16:00 Break

16:00-16-30 Discussion of techniques on carbon mapping using Landsat and MODIS – All


8:30-10:00 Intro to earth Engine/ODK/pre-processing of MODIS etc – Dave Thau (

10:00-10:30 Break

10:30- 12:00 Creating biomass map using Google Earth Engine – Dave Thau (

12:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-15:30 Emissions mapping using biomass map and existing forest/non-forest map – Alessandro Baccini (WHRC)

15:30-16:00 Break

16:00-17:30 Emissions mapping using biomass map and existing forest/non-forest map – Alessandro Baccini (WHRC)


8:00-10:00 Publishing maps with Maps Engine – Dave Thau (

10:00-10:30 Discussion of techniques and their application – All

10:30-11:30 Workshop closing and Departure logistics – JGI