Assessing the ecological impact of reforestation on farmland in Nicaragua using the satellite-derived normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI)

Pello Múgica Gonzalez
Deze scriptie omvat een schaalbare methodologie die het mogelijk maakt om herbebossingsprojecten te evalueren aan de hand van satellietgegevens. Door de satellietgegevens te combineren met data die in-situ verzameld werden, doet Pello Múgica Gonzalez een robuuste analyse over een herbebossingsproject in Noord Nicaragua op korte termijn.

Eén miljard kleinschalige boeren evalueren vanuit de ruimte - Beter herbebossen dankzij analyse van satellietgegevens

Keywords: satellietdata, herbebossing, landbouw, global-warming, data-analyse

Meer dan één miljard boeren kiezen vandaag voor het planten van bomen op hun land. Vertegenwoordigers van het Akkoord van Parijs (2015) erkennen het feit dat we de vooropgestelde doelstellingen omtrent de opwarming van de aarde niet halen zonder de hulp van dit gigantisch aantal onafhankelijke boeren. Wel stelt zich de vraag: hoe evalueer je zoveel individuele boeren, verspreid over de hele wereld? De vertegenwoordigers van het klimaatakkoord beargumenteren dat het té duur is om dit op individuele basis te organiseren, maar recente ontwikkelingen in bestaande technologieën creëren nieuwe mogelijkheden.

ADM Aeolus

Herbebossings- of andere ontwikkelingsorganisaties doen vaak interventies zonder te meten of ze daadwerkelijk een positieve impact hebben op hun omgeving. Data gebruiken als maatstaf bij herbebossing maakt het monitoren en evalueren van het project een heel stuk gemakkelijker.

Een nieuwe studie door Pello Múgica Gonzalez (2018) toont aan dat de efficiëntie en impact van herbebossingsprojecten aanzienlijk kunnen verbeteren door een analyse van satellietgegevens. Deze studie omvat een baanbrekende methodologie om dergelijke herbebossingsprojecten te evalueren vanuit de ruimte, die overigens goedkoop, toegankelijk en schaalbaar is.

Satellietdata. Wat kun je er mee?

Enkele publieke observatiesatellieten draaien in een baan om de aarde. Er is gratis toegang tot alle data en momentopnames die ze dagelijks vastleggen. Via het internet vind je verschillende manieren om tot deze hoogtechnologische speeltjes toegang te krijgen. Het meest uitgebreide en gebruiksvriendelijke instrument is waarschijnlijk de goed gedocumenteerde Google Earth Engine, gelimiteerd tot gebruik voor ontwikkeling, evaluatie, onderzoek en educatieve doeleinden.

"Landsat [world’s first public earth observation program from NASA] has been producing Big Data since before data was big." — Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, Apr 16, 2015

Satellietdata zijn veel meer dan enkel statische momentopnamen. De sensoren kunnen veel meer reflecties van golflengten registreren dan het menselijke oog. Zo kunnen wij als mens enkel kleuren zien, terwijl de sensor van een satelliet onder andere ook infrarood kan vastleggen. Dat laatste is extreem handig voor het detecteren van bijvoorbeeld gezonde vegetatie.

Positieve impact op lange termijn dankzij evaluatie vanuit de ruimte

De verandering in vegetatie monitoren vanuit de ruimte is een geweldige oplossing voor projecten wereldwijd. De studie van Múgica Gonzalez gaat nog een stap verder door deze satellietdata te combineren met data die werden verzameld op de aarde. Deze combinatie laat diepere analyses toe met betrekking tot de effectiviteit van het herbebossingsproject. Op die manier kunnen projectmanagers disfunctionaliteiten en opportuniteiten identificeren die een systematische impact hebben op lange termijn, en kan elke projectgebonden parameter (zoals bijvoorbeeld toegepaste snoei- en planttechnieken, gebruikte materialen, ...) worden afgetoetst.

Taking Root, een Canadese NGO, actief in Nicaragua, die meewerkte aan dit onderzoek, toont als pionier in herbebossing met de hulp van data aan dat hun werkwijze gunstig is voor alle stakeholders op lange termijn.

Múgica Gonzalez, net afgestudeerd aan UGent als Handelsingenieur, doet met deze studie een significante bijdrage aan de strijd tegen de opwarming van de aarde, waar efficiëntie en effectiviteit van uiterst belang zijn.

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Universiteit of Hogeschool
Master of Science in Business Engineering with main subject Data Analytics
Publicatiejaar
2018
Promotor(en)
Prof. Dr. Ilse Ruyssen
Kernwoorden
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