In the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region peatlands cover approximately 23,6 million hectares, representing 56% of global tropical peatlands. However, their exact extent in most of these countries is not well known since the identification by field-based methods is time consuming and expensive due to the enormous extent of the countries and additionally due to difficult accessibility of many areas.
Within the framework of the GIZ founded project SUPA (Sustainable Use of Peatland and Haze Mitigation in ASEAN) RSS supports with monitoring of so far unknown wetlands and potential peatlands in Lao PDR and the Philippines using remote sensing. For this purpose, satellite data from the Copernicus Programme is analyzed by remote sensing approaches. The analysis is based on a combination of multitemporal radar Sentinel-1 data and optical Sentinel-2 satellite images. Wetland-specific characteristics as vegetation communities and soil moisture are thereby recognized and classified using a semi-automatic, object-based classification approach. Using this approach, a nationwide map of potential peatlands will be produced for both countries. Knowledge gained is shared with local responsible staff by technical capacity building.