SERVIR: Forest Cover & Deforestation in Belize 1980-2010

Cherrington, Emil A. and Ek, Edgar and Cho, Percival and Howell, Burgess F. and Hernandez, Betzy E. and Anderson, Eric R. and Flores, Africa I. and Garcia, Bessy C. and Sempris, Emilio and Irwin, Daniel E. (2010) SERVIR: Forest Cover & Deforestation in Belize 1980-2010. Technical Report.

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    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 mosaics for the years 1980, 1989, 1994, 2000, 2004, and 2010, putting to use part of the extensive archive of data collected by the Landsat series of satellites since July 1972. The results of this assessment adjust down previous estimates of Belize’s deforestation rate, such as the UN Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s estimate of ~89,000 acres / year (2.3%). This study assesses Belize’s deforestation rate between 1980 and 2010 to be 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 from approximately 75.9% in 1980 to 62.7% as of February 2010. With a short turn-around time between image acquisition and the generation of forest cover 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 & Forest Degradation (REDD+) to the UN Millennium Development Goals.

    Item Type: Technical Reports (Technical Report)
    Related URLs:
      Publisher: Cherrington, Emil
      Keywords: Belize forest deforestation land cover remote sensing SERVIR GEO TROPICARMS REDD+
      Subjects: (A) Biodiversity > (AH) Plants
      (C) Ecosystems > (CC) Terrestrial > (CCA) Broad-Leaved Forest
      (C) Ecosystems > (CC) Terrestrial > (CCB) Savanna
      (Z) Other or Unspecified
      Publication Sources: (3) Other Source > (3D) Other or Unspecified
      Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2010 06:00
      Last Modified: 09 Jun 2014 14:09

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