Forest Cover and Deforestation in Belize: 1980-2010

Cherrington, Emil A. and Ek, Edgar (2010) Forest Cover and Deforestation in Belize: 1980-2010. Technical Report.

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    Making use of a thirty year archive of satellite image available through the Regional Visualization and Monitoring System (SERVIR), the forest cover of Belize was analyzed at the national level, providing information never before available on deforestation rates in the Central American nation with the highest relative forest cover. A multi-temporal maximum likelihood classification was conducted on satellite image July 1972. The results of this assessment adjust down previous estimates of Belize's of Belize's deforestation rate, such as the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)'s estimate of ~89,000 acres/year (2.3%). This study assesses Belize's deforestation rate between 1980 and 2010 to under 25,000 acres/year (0.6%). Additionally, where estimates of Belize's forest cover have ranged widely, from 79% (Fairweather & Gray 1994) to 61.6% (Meerman et al 2010), this study estimates that the country's forest cover declined form approximately 75.9% in 1980 tp 62.7% as of February 2010. With a short turn-around time between image acquisition and the generation of forest over data, this study demonstrates SERVIR's capacities for rapidly converting satellite data into information, and has synergies with the current Forest Carbon Tracking Task occurring in the context of the Group on Earth Observations. The information generated is intended to be of use as an input to processes ranging from Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) to the UN Millennium Development Goals.

    Item Type: Technical Reports (Technical Report)
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      Publisher: NASA
      Keywords: Belize, Forest, Deforestation, land cover, remote sensing, SERVIR, GEO, TROPICARMS, REDD+
      Subjects: (Z) Other or Unspecified
      Publication Sources: (3) Other Source > (3D) Other or Unspecified
      Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2013 17:41
      Last Modified: 09 Oct 2013 09:40

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