Forest cover change analysis in Nigeria using Landsat and Sentinel-1 data in Google Earth Engine platform - African Women in GIS

Forest cover change analysis in Nigeria using Landsat and Sentinel-1 data in Google Earth Engine platform

3 weeks ago 130

By: Angela Ugo1 and Laxmi Goparaju 2

(Email: 1. angela_ugo@yahoo.com 2. laxmigoparaju@vindhyabachao.org)

 

 

Introduction

Globally, there is an unprecedented loss of forest cover even in nature reserves due to natural and anthropogenic factors. The Nigeria forest ecosystem is no exception, bedeviled with myriads of man-induced challenges. Thus, it becomes necessary to monitor them continuously using advanced technologies like remote sensing and GIS.

 

Open-source cloud computing tools such as Google Earth Engine have offered opportunities to study in real-time data of the Earth cover and assist in making informed decisions regarding natural resource management. This study aims to identify the advantages of using high-resolution satellite data over optical data in classifying the land use and land cover in Nigeria using Google Earth Engine and estimate the changes in forest cover using Global Forest Cover change data (2000 -2020).

 

Study area

Nigeria is currently undergoing rapid and wide–range changes in its land due to climate change, the practice of slash–and–burn or shifting cultivation, and rapid infrastructural development. Usman and Adefalu, 2010 reported that forest estates in Nigeria occupy about 10 million hectares which is almost 10% of the country’s total land area. The total forest cover is made up of about 445 protected areas, distributed over the five main ecological zones of freshwater/mangrove, the lowland rainforest, the derived savanna, and the Sahel/Sudan savanna.