Research & Meetings

Kyoto & Carbon Initiative

An international project led by JAXA EORC.


The ALOS Kyoto & Carbon (K&C) Initiative is an international collaborative research project led by JAXA Earth Observation Research Center (EORC). Initiated in 2001, it forms the continuation of the (1995-2001) JERS-1 SAR Global Rain Forest and Global Boreal Forest Mapping project (GRFM/GBFM) into the era of JAXA's Advanced Land Observing Satellite mission series.

The ALOS K&C Initiative is set out to support explicit and implicit data and information needs raised by international environmental Conventions, Carbon Cycle Science, Climate Change and Conservation of the environment - referred to as the “4 Cs”. Led and coordinated by EORC JAXA, the Initiative is being undertaken by an international Science Team, and focuses primarily on defining and optimizing provision of data products and validated thematic information derived from in-situ and satellite sensor data, in particular L-band radar data from JERS-1 SAR, ALOS PALSAR and ALOS-2 PALSAR-2, and from 2021, including also ALOS-4 PALSAR-3.

The objective of the ALOS K&C Initiative is to define, develop and validate thematic products derived primarily from L-band SAR data that can be used to meet the specific information requirements relating to the 4 Cs. Of key importance for the K&C Initiative are the systematic data acquisition strategies developed and implemented for all JAXA’s SAR missions, comprising fixed, systematic global observation plans over regional (JERS-1) or global (ALOS and ALOS-2) scales. The strategies — also referred to as the Basic Observation Scenarios (BOS) — have been implemented as a top-level foreground missions and with a priority level second only to that of emergency observations.

The K&C Initiative is currently in its first so called “Post-KC” phase, as a part of JAXA’s broader Earth Observation Missions Research Program, focusing on three thematic areas - Forest, Wetlands and Glaciers. Each theme has identified key products that can be generated from L-band SAR data, including e.g. forest extent and change, forest biomass and structure, global wetlands status and change and glacier movements.

Within the Wetlands Theme, there is a particular focus on mapping the status and changes of the world's mangrove forests through the K&C Global Mangrove Watch.

Science Team

To assure scientific relevance and alignment with relevant international activities, such as e.g. the Ramsar Convention, UNFCCC REDD+, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the GEO Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI)), the K&C Science Team consists of leading scientists active in the fields of forest and wetlands mapping and monitoring, carbon modelling and biophysical parameter retrieval. The Science Team currently has 28 members from 12 countries, representing research institutes, universities, national agencies for space/geospatial information, national forest mapping agencies, NGOs and private companies.

K&C Science Team members

K&C Science Team members

K&C Scientific Team members

No. Name Surname Affiliation Country
1 Alexandre Bouvet CESBIO France
2 Bernd Schleuchl University of California, Irvine
3 Bruce Chapman JPL/Caltech
4 Christian Koyama Tokyo Denki University Japan
5 Christiane Schmullius Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena Germany
6 Dirk Hoekman Wageningen University Netherlands
7 Rodrigo Antônio De Souza IBAMA Brazil
8 Humberto Navarro de Mesquita Junior Brazilian Forest Service Brazil
9 Joao Carreiras University of Sheffield U.K.
10 Joaquim Armando Macuacua National Directorate of Forestry Mozambique
11 Johan Fransson Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Sweden
12 John Armston University of Maryland
13 Josef Kellndorfer Earth Big Data LLC
14 Lisa-Maria Rebelo International Water Management Institute Laos
15 Manabu Watanabe Tokyo Denki University Japan
16 Masanobu Shimada Tokyo Denki University Japan
17 Maurizio Santoro Gamma Remote Sensing Switzerland
18 Mikhail Urbazaev Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena Germany
19 Nathan Torbick Applied Geosolutions
20 Nathan M Thomas Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center
21 Paul Siqueira University of Massachusetts
22 Pete Bunting Aberystwyth University Wales/U.K.
23 Rahmat Arief LAPAN Indonesia
24 Richard Lucas Aberystwyth University Wales/U.K.
25 Shaun Quegan University of Sheffield U.K.
26 Stephane Mermoz GlobEO France
27 Thiago Sanna Freire Silva University of Stirling Scotland/U.K.
28 Thuy Le Toan CESBIO France
29 William Salas Applied Geosolutions LLC
30 Ake Rosenqvist solo Earth Observation (soloEO) Japan


Related links

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

Contact points

Dr. Ake Rosenqvist, K&C Science Coordinator

solo Earth Observation (soloEO)

Tokyo, Japan


Prof. Richard Lucas (GMW scientific lead)

Dr. Pete Bunting (GMW technical lead)

Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences

Aberystwyth University

SY23 3DB Wales, UK



Dr. Lisa Maria Rebelo (K&C Wetlands Theme Coordinator)

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Email: l.rebelo>