Earth Observation based enhancement and verification of GHG inventories for forests and biomass

The vision of BREATHE is to simplify the data gathering process for
the targeted markets, provide them with detailed and continuous
information on forest area, forest status and biomass emissions, enable
the integration of field independent (satellite) data source in their
businesses and support the verification of their reported data.

The BREATHE project is co-funded by The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Türkiye (TÜBİTAK), through the EUREKA European Research Funding Program.

Project Background

When the Paris Agreement was adopted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2015, all nations agreed to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change with the aim to change the global average temperature increase below 2°C. The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen highlighted at the Global Leaders’ Summit (April 2021) that Europe wants to be the first climate-neutral continent in the world and the greenhouse gas emissions shall be reduced by at least 55% by 2030, which will lead to a pathway to net-zero emissions by 2050.

This agreement requires that all nations must report regularly on their national anthropogenic GHG emissions and removals to the EC and UNFCCC.

In 2018, GeoVille was contracted by the Turkish Ministry of Finance (CFCU) to develop and implement the first Land Use Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) Monitoring and Reporting System in Europe for national Turkey. Together with our Turkish partners (incl. GlobeTech) we have developed a satellite-based monitoring system to work against the shortcomings in the estimation of national Activity Data, as well as to facilitate the calculation and reporting of LULUCF emissions and removals.

Due to this successful implementation and the related project heritage of GeoVille and GlobeTech, both companies have the vision for the integration of novel satellite data and atmospheric modelling with LULUCF.

The concept was well received by each of the national ministries and the related public institutions responsible for the National Inventory Report (NIR), i.e., the Federal Ministry of the Republic of Austria – Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology and its Environmental Agency (Umweltbundesamt Austria), the Republic of Turkey – Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (OGM) and the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization (CSB), as well as the European Environment Agency.

Biomass stands out as one of the major uncertainties in GHG emissions reporting, as it has often been accounted for as “carbon-neutral”, meaning sinks and sources have been calculated as equal, and forest disturbances such as harvest and wildfires are not sufficiently considered and accurately measured.

The objective of BREATHE is to develop a Proof-of-Concept and prototype the first operational EO monitoring and verification services for GHG emissions reporting, to meet the needs of environmental agencies (on a European level) for them to fill the National Inventory Reports in a standardized way and reduce reporting uncertainties. The benefits and applicability of BREATHE are not limited to the public GHG reporting sector, but will also apply to the private sector, namely to forest carbon trading, corporate sustainability reporting and to the voluntary carbon market.



of various satellite data sources, detailed land use information, and atmospheric models on a cloud-based IT system, in accordance with UNFCCC reporting standards.

FLEXPART-simulated CO tracer columns over the Bering Sea. Red rectangle indicates the area shown in the right panel. (right) Corresponding satellite image showing smoke over Alaska (modified from Damoah et al., 2004;

Data processing

of different existing and future satellite missions (e.g. ESA Biomass and NASA-ISRO NISAR both to be launched in the first quarter of 2024). Providing detailed information on Land Use and Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF).

Illustration of satellite derived Above Ground Biomass Mapping from GEDI L4B data over Türkiye (top left) over Austria (top right) and Simulated Biomass tomographic products (bottom).

Detailed information

Enabling the integration of data sources in
businesses and supporting the verification of reported data for governmental and international public institution, forest carbon trading, corporate sustainability reporting, and the voluntary carbon market.

Map of LULUCF Türkiye for the reference year 2015 @source: EUROPEAID project.



Supporting Institutions: