Forests 2020 is a £14.2 million investment from the UK Space Agency to help protect and restore up to 300 million hectares of tropical forests across six partner countries – Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Kenya and Ghana. Using Ecometrica’s digital infrastructure – the Mapping Platform – data from satellites, drones and fieldwork can be overlayed into interactive maps providing information and actionable reports on how forest is changing, which areas are at risk of forest loss, and which areas might be most suitable for restoration.
This case study highlights an excellent Mapping Platform application created by ECOSUR, which illustrates the improvement of forest monitoring developed through Forests 2020. This application focuses on three regions within Chiapas state (Marqués de Comillas, Reserva el Ocote and Sierra Madre) which are at risk of deforestation from a combination of pressures including wood extraction, coffee and palm plantations, and agriculture. This case study describes how data collected by ECOSUR for Forests 2020 is disseminated via the Mapping Platform platform.
Beyond viewing land cover change through maps, the Mapping Platform enables users to query the data, extracting results using charts and tables. For example, by performing a query on Marques de Comillas land cover data within the platform, results reveal that the number of hectares occupied by palm oil plantations has more than doubled from 1554 ha in 2012, to 4810 ha in 2015.
These statistics, combined with other results such as deforestation by year, help to provide accurate, accessible information about what land cover changes (including changes to forest cover) are occurring in the Marques de Comillas region in Mexico.