MALAREO Map Atlas for malaria research and control community
MALAREO focused to develop technology and implement earth observation data that contributes to the fight against malaria in southern Africa. Within the project a Map Atlas for malaria research and control community was created. The Map Atlas contains all map products created in the MALAREO project aiming to support the daily work of the National Malaria Control Programs (NMCP) in the project area.
Based on a variety of thematic maps, the management of integrated vector control, including the planning of indoor residual spraying (IRS), the distribution of insecticide treated nets (ITN) or larvaciding, can be substantially improved and can result in more effective vector control measures.
All geo-data were provided to the NMCPs as geo-referenced shape files and raster files to implement the data in their data management systems. All data presented in this Map Atlas can also be downloaded via the MALAREO website. The use of these data and of this Map Atlas for the work of the NMCPs was also part of three capacity building sessions. MALAREO organized courses in GIS, Earth Observation and spatial statistics for the end-users. The courses were held at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Durban, South-Africa) and targeted at the NMCPs in Southern Africa.
Click here to download the MALAREO Map Atlas
REDDiness helped Gabon and the Republic of Congo to get ready for a future REDD+ mechanism
REDD+ aims at decreasing carbon losses from the forest sector through five activities: reducing deforestation, reducing forest degradation, forest enhancement, sustainable management of forests, and forest conservations. Obtaining compensations due to REDD+ presupposes the development of a robust, reliable and transparent forest monitoring system and requires an accurate measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) system at the national level. REDDiness offered support in the definition and set up of this system in the Republic of Congo and Gabon. The main impact of REDDiness has been the stimulation of the exchange of EO (Earth Observation) knowledge and capacity in the context of forest monitoring between European and African partners. The project revised the state-of-the-art forest monitoring methods, especially in the field of forest degradation, and helped the Central African countries further towards an operational use of EO products and solutions supporting the sustainable management of forests. This has been performed by analyzing the capacity gaps first, and subsequently building the needed capacity for the exploitation of existing or future GMES and GEO services, and by developing and customizing EO methodologies according to local user needs.
Based on the in-depth assessment of requirements on technical and practical aspects and advises obtained from scientific experts, capacity building activities have been established in both countries in reference to existing regional capacities either in EO methodologies and in forest monitoring:
- Training sessions provided the participants with a very useful overview of EO data, methods and applications in the field of forest monitoring. In addition, the participants had the opportunity to use image processing software with project data on the study area. These are relevant contributions for participants involved in the definition, elaboration and implementation of the national MRV systems.
- Field missions in study areas provided the participants with increased knowledge on field protocols development and data collection. Data collected allowed for a much better understanding of forest degradation drivers and a much better analysis of the remote sensing imagery than would have been the case without it.
- The user workshop allowed for a detailed description of the research outcomes in forest monitoring by remote sensing, associated with practical exercises with experts based on the developed applications. The link between EO monitoring applications and the field mission was very positive and also ascertained a stronger involvement of local partners in the project by including them in the research component. Formal and informal evaluations of the support activities clearly indicate a positive appreciation by the participants.
The research component of REDDiness allowed to estimate the potential of optical and radar satellite imagery to detect forest degradation. REDDiness concluded that satellite imagery has potential to detect forest degradation, but requires good quality cloud-free remote sensing imagery at frequent intervals (at least once per year), and at high spatial resolutions (<10m). This has implications on the cost of a national monitoring system, which may need to implement a sampling approach. Persistent cloud cover is the main problem for optical image acquisition in the Congo Basin, but radar has its own intrinsic difficulties. These include 1) the relative complexity of image products and pre-processing requirements for non-experts, 2) the strong dependence of the radar backscatter on viewing geometry meaning that some changes in these can drastically affect what is observed in the scene, 3) the difficulty of interpretation requiring a good understanding of radar scattering mechanisms by the interpreter, and 4) strong terrain-related effects in mountainous or undulating terrain.