land cover

Land cover classification Bonaire

Mapping the land cover of Bonaire based on very high resolution PLEIADES satellite data of 2014-2016

Bonaire is rich in natural terrestrial ecosystems ranging from dry tropical forest, caves and beaches to salt lakes and mangroves. These ecosystems provide a wealth of ecosystem services to Bonaire's population, including food provisioning, recreation opportunities for tourists, cultural heritage and habitat provisioning. A large part of the land is protected in the form of a national park, RAMSAR wetlands, Important Bird Areas and as Key Biodiversity Areas (Verweij and Mücher in Debrot et al. 2017; minLnv 2020).

Well-being and prosperity of the island's population are highly dependent on the quality of the natural environment. Bonaire is facing major challenges: managing (mass) tourism and population growth, preventing high erosion rates due to free roaming cattle, recharging fresh water into the soil, adaptation to climate change and halting biodiversity loss (Verweij et al. 2020; Debrot et al. 2017).

The interaction of the natural ecosystems with human activities is reflected in the land cover. Understanding current land cover and how the land is being used, especially with regard to the aforementioned challenges, is elementary for land management and land use planning. Measuring current conditions is achieved through land cover mapping. Satellite images are often used as basis for land cover mapping as it allows to take a measured snapshot covering the entire study area at a single moment in time. Multiple images through time can show how the land cover changes over time (Saah et al. 2019).

In this study we developed a spatial land cover classification database of Bonaire based on high resolution (2x2 m2) satellite imagery, field observations and supplemented with local knowledge. Basis of inspiration for the land cover classification was a sabbatical that Sander Mücher had in 2016 at the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) in Kralendijk, Bonaire.

You can download the land cover data file here.

Date
2020
Data type
Research report
Theme
Research and monitoring
Report number
3050
Geographic location
Bonaire
Image

Remote Sensing Tools to support NEXUS challenges

Smalls islands are especially vulnerable to climate change and land  use changes due to the competing needs for limited resources. To support the NEXUS approach we need evidence based monitoring tools that can provide policy makers, conservation managers, entrepeneurs, scientists and the general public with information on the state, pressures and associated changes in the environment. Satellite imagery can provide synoptic information at appropriate
spatial and temporal resolutions that can support evidence based monitoring. Only at very detailed levels information might be added by using airplanes or drones. Remotely sensed information can help to provide information on e.g. land cover and associated dynamics such as urban sprawl, mapping habitats such as mangroves and coral reefs, surveying terrain conditions such as soil moisture conditions and erosion hazards associated within catchments, sea level rise and changing coastlines, and on many aspects of the vegetation (natural and agriculture), such as plant traits, phenology and plant growth. Remotely sensed information can in general make field surveys and monitoring more effective, and can thoroughly support decision making.

Date
2019
Data type
Research report
Theme
Education and outreach
Research and monitoring
Geographic location
Bonaire

Land cover map of Saba

The land cover map of Saba gives a coarse representation of the distribution of forest, shrub, pasture and artificial surface. Invasive species (like Corallita) are included where technically possible. See this report for more information

Date
2014
Data type
Maps and Charts
Theme
Research and monitoring
Document
Tags
Geographic location
Saba

Land cover map of St.Eustatius

The land cover map of St. Eustatius gives a coarse representation of the distribution of forest, shrub, pasture and artificial surface. Invasive species (like Corallita) are included where technically possible. See this report for more information

 

Date
2013
Data type
Maps and Charts
Theme
Research and monitoring
Tags
Geographic location
St. Eustatius