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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7(12), 455; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi7120455

From a Vegetation Index to a Sustainable Development Goal Indicator: Forest Trend Monitoring Using Three Decades of Earth Observations across Switzerland

1
Institute for Environmental Sciences, EnviroSPACE Lab, University of Geneva, Bd Carl-Vogt 66, CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland
2
Experimental Physics Department, CERN, CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland
3
Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of Geneva, GRID-Geneva, Bd Carl-Vogt 66, CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland
Current address: Solar Energy and Building Physics Laboratory (LESO-PB), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 August 2018 / Revised: 16 November 2018 / Accepted: 21 November 2018 / Published: 24 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geo-Information and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs))
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Abstract

Forests represent important habitats for species and provide multiple ecosystem services for human well-being. Preserving forests and other terrestrial ecosystems has become crucial to halt desertification, land degradation, and biodiversity loss worldwide, and is also one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. Remote sensing could greatly contribute to measuring progress toward SDGs by providing consistent and repetitive coverage of large areas, as well as information in various wavelengths, which facilitates the monitoring of environmental trends at various scales. This paper focuses on SDG indicator 15.1.1—“Forest area as a percentage of total land area” to demonstrate the potential of Earth Observation Data Cubes for SDGs. The approach presented here uses Landsat Analysis Ready Data (ARD) stored in the Swiss Data Cube, and offers a complementary method to ground-based approaches to monitor Switzerland’s forest extent based on the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). The proposed method performs time-series analyses to extract a forest/non-forest map and a graph representing the trend of SDG 15.1.1 indicator over time. Preliminary results suggest that this approach can identify similar forest extent and growth patterns to observed trends, and can therefore help monitor progress toward the selected SDG indicator more effectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: Sustainable Development Goals; Earth Observations; Landsat; Swiss Data Cube; forest monitoring Sustainable Development Goals; Earth Observations; Landsat; Swiss Data Cube; forest monitoring
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Honeck, E.; Castello, R.; Chatenoux, B.; Richard, J.-P.; Lehmann, A.; Giuliani, G. From a Vegetation Index to a Sustainable Development Goal Indicator: Forest Trend Monitoring Using Three Decades of Earth Observations across Switzerland. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2018, 7, 455.

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