Terra-i team member Alejandro Coca familiarized attendees of the the world’s largest Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and conservation event in California, U.S.A., with the goals and prospects of Terra-i.
Figure 1. As part of the SCGIS scholar program, Alejandro presented Terra-i’s work during the ESRI and SCGIS international conferences in California, USA.
The 33rd ESRI User Conference and 16th Annual Conference of the Society for Conservation GIS (SCGIS) were held recently in July, both conferences forming part of a global scholarship program for which the SCGIS awarded Alejandro a competitive month-long sponsorship.
The GIS and conservation community showed strong interest in the project’s approach, the consistency of its data, and its open-source philosophy for data delivery.
In addition to the Terra-i conference sessions, Alejandro and staff from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) joined in activities at the CGIAR Consortium for Spatial Information (CGIAR-CSI) booth, located in the Environmental Showcase section of the ESRI conference. Along with Terra-i, web-GIS applications such as HarvestChoice and RTBMaps were highlighted and introduced to conference-goers.
This year CGIAR received its first award from ESRI for the development of the RTB web application.
The SCGIS scholarship program also awarded Alejandro with three ESRI instructor-led training courses related to topics such as performing GIS analysis, improving cartography as well as publishing maps based on ESRI services to the web.
Figure 2. Multi-national scholars are supported every year to attend the ESRI and SCGIS conference and present their conservation projects.
The Terra-i project acknowledges The Society for Conservation GIS and ESRI for supporting Alejandro’s attendance at these world-recognized events.
From May 8-12, 2017, the Terra-i team, together with staff from the DGOTA of Peru's Ministry of Environment, carried out the first field validation of vegetative land cover changes detected during Terra-i monitoring for 2016 and 2017, using the technology UAV. This work was carried out under the framework of the project “Sustainable Amazonian Landscapes”. The team carried out over-flights with a Phantom 3 advanced rotor drone and a fixed-wing Ebee drone in seven townships of Yurimaguas. The objective of this work was to recognize the dynamics of land cover and land use changes in the region while at the same time to validate the accuracy of the detections of forest loss being monitored by Terra-i in Yurimaguas.
The Terra-i team has worked hard on renovating Terra-i’s website since early this year. A set of new features on the website provides interactive contents and facilitates adaptation to the mobile devices of our users. The fresh website was developed using the latest update of an open-source, Java-based web system, Magnolia CMS 5.4.4. This update was customized to add different categories of interaction such as news, vegetation cover changes, and information, among others.
Globally more than 1 billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods. Forests play a crucial role in climate regulation, ecosystem services provision and regulation, water supply, carbon storage and many other functions that support biodiversity. Currently the global rate of deforestation is substantial, and there is a growing need for timely, spatially explicit data that flag natural vegetation changes due to human activities.
The latest update of Terra-i has been used with the Co$ting Nature ecosystem services assessment tool to understand the impacts of recent forest loss in Colombia on biodiversity and ecosystem services.
During the 1st and 12th of June 2015, the Terra-i team, together with the Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonía Peruana (IIAP) and the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina (VLIR-UNALM), conducted the second field validation of the data produced by the Terra-I system. This time, the study area was the Yurimaguas district, Alto Amazonas province, Loreto region (Peru). We used information on populated places, main roads, rivers and information on land cover changes detected for 2013, 2014 and 2015 to define the 65 sampling points (or Terra-I pixels) for the validation process (Figure 1).