Analysis of spatial and temporal changes of vegetation cover using remote sensing (RS) technology, in conjunction with Geographic Information Systems (GIS), is becoming increasingly important in environmental conservation. The objective of this study was to use RS data and GIS techniques to assess the vegetation cover in 1989 and 2009, in the barangays
(smallest administrative units) of the city of San Fernando, La Union, the Philippines, for planning vegetation rehabilitation. Landsat images were used to prepare both the 1989 and 2009 land cover maps, which were then used to detect changes in the vegetation cover for the barangays. In addition to conventional accuracy assessment parameters such as; proportion correct, and standard Kappa index of agreement, two other parameters; quantity, and allocation disagreements were used to assess the accuracy of the land cover classification. Results revealed that there were gains and losses of vegetation cover in most of the barangays, but overall vegetation cover increased by 11% (around 625 ha) based on the original extent of 1989. Those barangays that showed substantial net losses in vegetation cover need to be prioritised for rehabilitation planning. As exemplified in this study, the collection, processing and analysis of relevant RS and GIS information, can facilitate priority-setting in the planning of environmental rehabilitation and conservation by the local government at both city and barangay levels.