About the training Our SERVIR-HKH Initiative and SilvaCarbon are organising a training workshop on improving forest carbon estimation and degradation monitoring in Nepal. The training will cover three components that support forest carbon emission monitoring efforts: terrestrial laser scanning (TLS), the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI), and continuous degradation detection (CODED) algorithm. Participants will learn necessary skills and knowledge to collect high-quality TLS data for biomass estimation at the individual tree scale, which will help improve the capacity to scale biomass estimations from the plot to the regional level. Participants will also become familiar with Online Biomass Inference using Waveforms And iNventory (OBIWAN), GEDI-incorporated model-based aboveground biomass estimation, and tools to understand timeseries wall-to-wall biomass estimation. They will be introduced to CODED algorithms for tracing forest degradation. We developed this training content and delivery in collaboration with SilvaCarbon’s TLS team, SilvaCarbon, NASA SERVIR Applied Sciences Team (AST), and the Government of Nepal’s Forest Research and Training Centre (FRTC). Objectives Familiarise participants with biomass estimation tools and techniques including TLS and GEDI. Share background and updates on the CODED algorithm, used by FRTC for forest degradation monitoring, and discuss further improvements for the application of CODED. Share the planned activities and methodology for the development of forest emission reduction through both statistical estimation and improved resource mapping. This innovative approach aims to provide reliable spatially consistent carbon predictions on an annual basis. Seek feedback from participants regarding the performance of TLS- and GEDI-based models and gather suggestions for possible upgrades. This feedback will help refine the methods and models to meet the specific needs of stakeholders. Bring together relevant stakeholders who are actively involved in forest carbon-related works and management. The training workshop will provide a platform for them to share their experiences, challenges, and emerging forest monitoring requirements. Expected outcomes Upon completion of the training workshop, the participants will have a better understanding of the applications of TLS, GEDI, and CODED in monitoring forest condition and carbon stocks, enabling them to apply this knowledge in their working areas. At the end of the training workshop, participants will outline practical application and integration of GEDI, TLS, and field-level data. Expected participants We will organise the training in-person for 24 participants from national agencies in Nepal, including FRTC, Ministry of Forest and Environment (MoFE), REDD Implementation Centre, Department of Forest and Soil Conservation (DoFSC), and ICIMOD. Resource persons/facilitators Amul Kumar Acharya, Assistant Research Officer, FRTC Eric Bullock, Research Geographer, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service Tim Devereux, Research Associate, Earth Observation Ecology Sean Healey, Lead – NASA SERVIR Applied Science Team, and Research Ecologist, USDA Forest Service Ashraful Islam, Research Assistant, USDA Forest Service Prakash Lamichhane, Assistant Research Officer, FRTC Shaun Levick, Principle Research Scientist, Earth Observation Ecology Atticus Stoval, Assistant Research Professor, University of Maryland/NASA Rajesh Bahadur Thapa, Lead Science and Data, SERVIR-HKH, ICIMOD Background This training workshop incorporates three components that support forest carbon emission monitoring efforts. The first component, TLS, is a powerful tool for biomass estimation, offering valuable insights into forest ecosystems while supporting conservation, carbon accounting, and resource management efforts. TLS has several advantages for biomass estimation, including its ability to capture detailed 3D information, non-intrusive nature, and high accuracy. It provides comprehensive data on forest structure, enabling more precise biomass estimation compared to traditional methods. However, it is important to note that TLS also has limitations. Effective operation and data processing require considerable expertise and resources. Moreover, occlusions caused by dense vegetation or steep terrain can impact the accuracy of biomass estimation in certain cases. Secondly, GEDI is a spaceborne LiDAR sampling instrument, collecting waveform return data for 25-m footprints spaced at 60-m intervals along parallel ground tracks that are approximately 600 m apart. Transparent methods have been developed to use GEDI to infer mean biomass with clear estimates of uncertainty. These methods have been built into OBIWAN, an interactive public tool developed to address carbon estimation in individual jurisdictions. Lastly, the CODED algorithm relies upon time series analysis of the forest component of a spectral unmixing process applied to all available Landsat imagery. It is a leading algorithm for mapping forest degradation, which is canopy disturbance that does not result in deforestation. The amount of area affected by degradation, and its carbon consequences, are often greater than those of forest conversion. The algorithm has been applied to map degradation across the Amazon and has been tested in Nepal. Agenda DAY 1 – SUNDAY, 23 JULY 2023 Time Topic 08:00–08:30 Assemble/registration/fieldwork brief 08:30–12:30 Morning session (S1) Field exercise – Tim Devereux and Shaun Levick TLS field data collection in flat plot 12:30–13:30 Lunch break 13:30–17:00 Afternoon session (S2) Field exercise – continued TLS field data collection exercise in sloped plot 18:00–20:00 Reception dinner DAY 2 – MONDAY, 24 JULY 2023 Time Topic 09:00–10:00 Opening session (S3) Welcome remarks – ICIMOD and SilvaCarbon (remotely) SERVIR-HKH capacity-building efforts and training overview – Rajesh Bahadur Thapa Project introduction to TLS system – TLS team Project introduction – GEDI team Remarks – Bimal Kumar Acharya, Under Secretary, FRTC Group photo 10:30–10:45 Tea break 10:45–12:30 Morning session (S4) Pre-training assessment (10 min) – ICIMOD Lecture Field biomass data collection and allometric equations (20 min) – Prakash Lamichhane Introduction to and overview of TLS for forest monitoring (1 h) – Atticus Stoval (remotely), Tim Devereux, and Shaun Levick Hands on exercise – Tim Devereux and Shaun Levick Transferring data, co-registration, and exporting (3 h) 12:30–13:30 Lunch break 13:30–17:00 Afternoon session (S5) Hands-on exercises (continued) – Tim Devereux and Shaun Levick Occlusion and other data collection considerations (2 h) Instructions for downloading and installing software (CloudCompare, AdQSM) (1 h) Working tea/coffee Hands-on exercises (continued) DAY 3 – TUESDAY, 25 JULY 2023 Time Topic 09:00–12:30 Morning session (S6) Reflections on the previous day (30 min) – Rajesh Bahadur Thapa Lecture QSMs, data processing, formats, and software (1 h) – Atticus Stoval (remotely) and Tim Devereux/Shaun Levick Hands-on exercise – Tim Devereux and Shaun Levick CloudCompare functionality, manual tree segmentation, leaf point removal (3 h) 11:00–11:15 Break Hands-on exercises (continued) 12:30–13:30 Lunch break 13:30–17:00 Afternoon session (S7) Hands-on exercises (continued) – Tim Devereux and Shaun Levick CloudCompare functionality, manual tree segmentation, leaf point removal AdQSM individual tree attributes (3 h) Working tea/coffee Hands-on exercises (continued) AdQSM individual tree attributes DAY 4 – WEDNESDAY, 26 JULY 2023 Time Topic 09:30–12:30 Morning session (S8) Reflections on the previous day (30 min) – Rajesh Bahadur Thapa Lecture Introduction to the GEDI LiDAR mission (1 h) – Sean Healey Hands on exercise – Sean Healey Explore OBIWAN web-based tool for estimating carbon stocks using calibration of GEDI data with local inventory records (6 h) 11:00–11:15 Break Hands-on exercises (continued) Explore OBIWAN web-based tool for estimating carbon stocks using calibration of GEDI data with local inventory records 12:30–13:30 Lunch break 13:30–17:00 Afternoon session (S9) Hands-on exercises (continued) Explore OBIWAN web-based tool for estimating carbon stocks using calibration of GEDI data with local inventory records Working tea/coffee Hands-on exercises (continued) Explore OBIWAN web-based tool for estimating carbon stocks using calibration of GEDI data with local inventory records DAY 5 – THURSDAY, 27 JULY 2023 Time Topic 09:00–12:30 Morning session (S10) Reflections on the previous day (30 min) – Rajesh Bahadur Thapa Experience on mapping forest degradation with CODED (20 min) – Amul Kumar Acharya Lecture CODED algorithm for mapping forest degradation (1 h) – Eric Bullock Hands-on exercise – Eric Bullock Walking with CODED algorithm for mapping forest degradation (5 h) 11:00–11:15 Break Hands-on exercises (continued) Walking with CODED algorithm for mapping forest degradation 12:30–13:30 Lunch break 13:30–16:00 Afternoon session (S11) Hands-on exercises (continued) Walking with CODED algorithm for mapping forest degradation Demonstration Use of Sentinel-1 radar imagery to improve land cover mapping – Ashraful Islam Working tea/coffee 16:00 – 17:00 Closing session (S12) Post-training assessment – ICIMOD Reflections on the training participants and way forward Certificate distribution – Rajesh Bahadur Thapa Closing remarks –FRTC/SilvaCarbon/ICIMOD DAY 6 – FRIDAY, 28 JULY 2023 Participants return to origin. TLS, GEDI, ICIMOD, and selected members of FRTC teams will continue to field observation activities in selected areas. FRTC, TLS, GEDI, and ICIMOD will have a wrap-up discussion on practical next steps for integrating the different data sets to meet different requirements of FRTC. About SilvaCarbon SilvaCarbon is an interagency technical cooperation programme of the U.S. Government to enhance the capacity of selected tropical countries to measure, monitor, and report on carbon in their forests and other lands. Drawing on expertise and resources from multiple U.S. Government agencies and partners, the programme provides targeted technical support to countries in the process of developing and implementing national forest and landscape monitoring systems to support management decisions. SilvaCarbon leverages state-of-the-art science and technology to advance the generation and use of improved information related to forest and terrestrial carbon. For more, please visit silvacarbon.org.