Simpler is more effective than complex for a GIS-based simulation of deforestation for a conservation project in Madagascar

Authors: Sadie Murray*,
Topics: Biogeography, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Land Use and Land Cover Change
Keywords: Remote sensing, land change modeling, figure of merit, deforestation, carbon credit, Madagascar
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 51
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Land change simulation models play a fundamental role in quantifying the effectiveness of conservation projects for Reducing Emissions due to Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD). A simulation model must attain validation accuracy measured by the Figure of Merit to qualify for REDD according to the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). My research uses a proposed conservation project in Madagascar as a case study to compare five simulations of deforestation for a REDD project. The first simulation allocates deforestation on the highest carbon density, the second on the lowest carbon density, the third near previous deforestation, the fourth according to a multivariate model of seven drivers, and the fifth uniformly. The multivariate model has a Figure of Merit of 7%-10% while the simpler proximity model has a Figure of Merit of 10%-12%, thus both models qualify according to the VCS criterion. The rate at which both models disturb carbon is nearly identical to the rate for the uniform model.

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