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Identifying and deriving spatial surrogates for the primary drivers of mangrove deforestation

Supervisors: Trevor Jones, Garth Cripps
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. Beyond identifying and understanding the primary agents, drivers and underlying causes of mangrove loss, their input as model variables is critical to forecast potential deforestation scenarios based on business-as-usual vs. intervention initiatives involving conservation, restoration and/or sustainable-use.

This project involves working closely with our socioeconomic researchers and geospatial analysts to derive spatial surrogates for mangrove loss from existing socioeconomic and biophysical GIS data-sets.
The project builds on a growing, near-comprehensive suite of data-sets for Madagascar and an increasingly intimate knowledge of the primary drivers of deforestation and degradation in several of Madagascar’s largest and most rapidly disappearing mangrove forests. Results will facilitate finalizing the input variables for modelling potential deforestation scenarios throughout Madagascar’s primary mangrove ecosystems.

Independent research projects (2013-2014) - Madagascar

Independent research projects (2013-2014) - Belize