Beyond deforestation monitoring in conservation hotspots
Due to its extraordinary biodiversity and rapid deforestation, northeastern Madagascar is a conservation priority of global importance. Reducing shifting cultivation is a high priority for policy-makers and conservationists; however, spatially explicit evidence of shifting cultivation is lacking due to the difficulty of mapping it with common remote-sensing methods. We adopted a landscape mosaic approach to assess the changes between natural forests, shifting cultivation and permanent cultivation systems. Our findings confirm that shifting cultivation is still being used to produce subsistence rice throughout the region, but there is a trend of intensification away from shifting cultivation toward permanent rice production, especially near protected areas.
Detecting land degradation and regeneration in Mongolia
This study is based on an analysis of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data recorded by two sensors on board the NASA's Terra and Aqua platforms. It explored 11 years of MODIS 16-day composite Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) time series to detect land cover change – in particular land degradation and regeneration areas in Mongolia. The study demonstrated that MODIS NDVI time series analysis is suitable for detecting vegetation change areas both large and small and, hence, for identifying land degradation and regeneration in Mongolia.
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