Following a year of activity, the MRV4C project (A Monitoring, Measurement, Reporting and Verification System for the Cocoa sector in the Dominican Republic) has come to an end.
MRV4C is an initiative by GMV for sustainable development, financed by the European Space Agency’s Earth Observation Center (ESA-ESRIN) that addressed activity line 6 “EO for Sustainable Development” in the Agency's “ESA EO Science for Society Program”. The aim was to implement a monitoring system that enabled the assessment of different parameters to improve the value chain of the cocoa sector, contribute to achieving “deforestation zero” in the Dominican Republic and, in addition, to demonstrate the role of cocoa, as an agri-forest system, in the fight against climate change.
Responding to the needs of the users, GMV designed a solution based on satellite and earth data, using geolocation systems, remote detection technologies and machine learning. Using data from the ESA’s Sentinels (Sentinel-1 and Sentinel 2) and from ALOS-2 PALSAR-2, as well as other data sources from the Copernicus Climate Change Service, GMV has shown the potential of the Earth Observation data in identifying the best areas for agri-forest cocoa crops, mapping the current extension of the cocoa operations, estimating forest biomass and measuring deforestation.
The project not only promotes socioeconomic development by reinforcing decision-making in a key sector for the country, but it also cooperates in the fight against climate change, aligning itself with the REDD+ mission (Reduction of Emissions deriving from Deforestation and Degradation of forests), which promotes the creation of a national forest monitoring system based on MRV activities (Monitoring and Measuring, Reporting and Verification).
MRV4C received the collaboration of the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Agriculture (Department of Cocoa), the DR Coca Foundation and the National Cocoa Commission, as well as the support of the World Bank.
The final demonstration and project closure event, organized by GMV, took place in mid-May and were attended by representatives of the Dominican government, as well as representatives of ESA, the World Bank, the private sector, NGOs and other civilian associations.
Following the closure of the project, by request of the players in the country, a stage has now been opened to define, jointly with all organizations involved, the next phase of MRV4Cen, which seeks to scale and consolidate the results obtained in this initial phase and open them, potentially, to other sectors.