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Examining the Economic and Environmental Impacts of COVID-19 Using Earth Observation Data
Open AccessTechnical Note

Pandemic Induced Changes in Economic Activity around African Protected Areas Captured through Night-Time Light Data

by 1,* and 2
1
Independent Evaluation Office, Global Environment Facility, Washington, DC 20006, USA
2
Office of Innovation, UNICEF, New York, NY 10017, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(2), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13020314
Received: 1 December 2020 / Revised: 6 January 2021 / Accepted: 11 January 2021 / Published: 18 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Night-Time Light)
The importance of tourism for development is widely recognized. Travel restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 have brought tourism to a halt. Tourism is one of the key sectors driving change in Africa and is based exclusively on natural assets, with wildlife being the main attraction. Economic activities, therefore, are clustered around conservation and protected areas. We used night-time light data as a proxy measure for economic activity to assess change due to the pandemic. Our analysis shows that overall, 75 percent of the 8427 protected areas saw a decrease in light intensity in varying degrees in all countries and across IUCN protected area categories, including in popular protected area destinations, indicating a reduction in tourism-related economic activities. As countries discuss COVID-19 recovery, the methods using spatially explicit data illustrated in this paper can assess the extent of change, inform decision-making, and prioritize recovery efforts. View Full-Text
Keywords: VIIRS; night-time lights; COVID-19; pandemic; protected areas; wildlife tourism VIIRS; night-time lights; COVID-19; pandemic; protected areas; wildlife tourism
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MDPI and ACS Style

Anand, A.; Kim, D.-H. Pandemic Induced Changes in Economic Activity around African Protected Areas Captured through Night-Time Light Data. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 314. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13020314

AMA Style

Anand A, Kim D-H. Pandemic Induced Changes in Economic Activity around African Protected Areas Captured through Night-Time Light Data. Remote Sensing. 2021; 13(2):314. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13020314

Chicago/Turabian Style

Anand, Anupam; Kim, Do-Hyung. 2021. "Pandemic Induced Changes in Economic Activity around African Protected Areas Captured through Night-Time Light Data" Remote Sens. 13, no. 2: 314. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13020314

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