The Climate Change practice of the Cisco Systems Strategy & Innovation Group (IBSG) is researching an initiative to reduce emissions from deforestation in developing countries with co-benefits for climate change adaptation and the conservation of forest ecosystems. Cisco Systems is developing innovations that help to address the market and governance failures which allow this practice to continue.
To this end, they are developing proof-of-concepts and prototypes which help manage decision making processes in deforestation hotspots by monetising forest property rights so that carbon sequestration services can be priced and managed. The 'rainforest skin' is an open network platform for real-time, highly distributed mass remote sensing, certification and monitoring of carbon stocks and flows that generates trust and enables collaboration between different actors in government, communities/NGOs/scientific organizations and the private sector. This platform will use a 'mash-up' of geo-referenced satellite, unmanned aerial vehicle and multiple ground based sensor networks to estimate the forest's carbon stock and flow dynamics and then allow for trading and risk management of this new commodity.
This effort is part of a wider global sensing and monitoring R&D collaborative effort with NASA and other partners to co-develop a Planetary Skin that goes beyond carbon sensing in rural and urban environments into critical sectors including water, food productivity and risk management.