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Assessing the status of methods for modelling future deforestation scenarios

Supervisor: Trevor Jones
Location: desk (UK) and/or desk/field (Madagascar)
Duration: min 3-6 months

Madagascar’s west coast includes approximately 213,000 hectares of mangrove ecosystems which sequester significant amounts of carbon dioxide, support high levels of biodiversity and provide vital goods and services to increasingly poor and vulnerable coastal communities. Despite their importance, Madagascar’s mangroves are being rapidly overexploited resulting in widespread degradation and deforestation. Critical to understanding the potential ramifications of continued deforestation are the methods used for developing models to forecast potential mangrove deforestation and emissions scenarios based on business-as-usual vs. various intervention initiatives
involving conservation, restoration and/or sustainable-use.

At present, multiple promising modelling tools have been developed with REDD+ applications in mind (e.g., the Idrisi Land Change Modeller); however, their application and utility for mangroves remains an area of research largely underexplored. This project involves an exhaustive desk-based inventory, review and analysis of all available modelling methods for mangrove-oriented REDD+ projects. The second phase involves using an historic suite of land-cover maps and socio-economic and bio-physical GIS variables to conduct a comparative analysis of the merits and weaknesses of different modelling methodologies.
Results will facilitate finalising the methods employed for modelling potential deforestation andemissions scenarios throughout Madagascar’s mangroves.

Independent research projects (2013-2014) - Madagascar

Independent research projects (2013-2014) - Belize