|Abstract||The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) was established to provide a forum for communication, cooperation, and coordination of the earth observation programs of member states, and for
communications among organizations whose primary interest is the use of earth-observation data.|
CEOS members have agreed to establish a small number of pilot projects to address issues of great concern to the majority of CEOS members and user
organizations. Recognizing that the forests of the Earth play a vital role in several natural resources, and the build-up of greenhouse gases, Global Observations of Forest Cover (GOFC) was identified for development as a pilot project. The first
phase of detailed planning of GOFC took place during a workshop in Ottawa, Canada from July 7 to 10, 1997.
GOFC will continue and build on the experience gained by many existing programs. A strategy will be planned to acquire and combine data from
high and low resolution optical satellites, and C-band and L-band radar satellites, to enable global coverage to be achieved in a timely fashion, even in areas with persistent cloud cover. A suite of products to be produced by GOFC has been
identified, including: 1) Coarse and fine geocoded optical data; 2) SAR data (C and L band); 3) Coarse land cover; 4) Fine land cover; 5) Fire scars; 6) Forest harvest; 7) Forest functioning; 8) Land cover change in areas of rapid change.
accomplish such an ambitious objective will require a highly coordinated effort by numerous agencies participating on a voluntary basis. In this paper we discuss the current status of GOFC, plans for the future, and indicate how interested parties
may become involved.