Title: Rapid mapping and impact estimation of illegal charcoal production in southern Somalia based on WorldView-1 imagery
Authors: BOLOGNESI MicheleVrieling A.REMBOLD FelixGADAIN Hussein
Publication Year: 2015
JRC N°: JRC96483
ISSN: 0973-0826
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0973082614001318
DOI: 10.1016/j.esd.2014.12.008
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Following more than 20 years of civil unrest, environmental information for southern Somalia is scarce. Wood charcoal production and export is a major activity supportingwar regimes in this area such as the extreme Islamist group Al-Shabaab. However, little quantitative information exists on the extent of this charcoal production. In this study, we developed a semi-automatic detectionmethod to identify charcoal production sites fromvery high resolution (0.5 m) satellite imagery. We then applied it to a 4700 km2 area along the Juba River in southern Somalia using 2011 and 2013WorldView-1 imagery. Based on the sites detected exclusively for 2013we estimated an average production of 24,000 tonnes of charcoal and 2.7% tree loss for the two-year interval, using literature- and local-knowledge-based assumptions on likely ranges of kiln and tree parameters. Our large-area assessment helps to better understand the dimension and impact of charcoal production in southern Somalia and reveals a rapid depletion of tree cover. The analysis provides a first step towards the development of a charcoal production monitoring system that could be extended to other parts of the country.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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