Theme 7: Capacity--Oral Sessions

Description

Moroccan forests, through the provision of goods and ecosystem services, underpins benefits to local communities and play a crucial role for rural area development. The legal framework recognizes to people, living near public forests, the right to graze their domestic livestock. Over the years, the grazing pressure is at levels far beyond the forestland’s carrying capacity throughout the country. Such pressure has been demonstrated as the main cause of forest cover loss and land degradation in Morocco and still threatening the sustainability of forests. To reduce the heavy grazing pressure on forest ecosystems and ensure their regeneration, several initiatives have been conducted such as the program of compensation for forest areas closed to grazing (CFCG), initiated by Moroccan forestry department. Socio-economic impact assessment of this mechanism was presented within several studies but its effectiveness for forest rangeland rehabilitation remains scarce and very spatially limited. To deal with this concern and to assess vegetation dynamics through various spatial and temporal scales, parcels concerned by CFCG and others within similar conditions was chosen. Time series of remotely sensed spectral indices at each parcel was used for vegetation cover dynamics assessment. Google Earth Engine platform (GEE) was used as computing plateform.

As result, the spectral indices trends shown a long-lasting degradation tendency in areas planted without compensation compared to those concerned by CFCG. Such results were also verified using aerial images covering the analyzed parcels. As conclusion, within comparable conditions, CFCG improved vegetation cover trends. The use of GEE Platform simplified the process of treatment of remote sensed imagery and made it easy to assess the state of the vegetation and will be of great use in assessing the impacts of different programs and initiatives on the restoration of pastoral and silvopastoral ecosystems.

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Assessing the Impacts of Different Initiatives on the Rehabilitation of Pastoral and Silvopastoral Ecosystems: Big Data Oriented Approach

Moroccan forests, through the provision of goods and ecosystem services, underpins benefits to local communities and play a crucial role for rural area development. The legal framework recognizes to people, living near public forests, the right to graze their domestic livestock. Over the years, the grazing pressure is at levels far beyond the forestland’s carrying capacity throughout the country. Such pressure has been demonstrated as the main cause of forest cover loss and land degradation in Morocco and still threatening the sustainability of forests. To reduce the heavy grazing pressure on forest ecosystems and ensure their regeneration, several initiatives have been conducted such as the program of compensation for forest areas closed to grazing (CFCG), initiated by Moroccan forestry department. Socio-economic impact assessment of this mechanism was presented within several studies but its effectiveness for forest rangeland rehabilitation remains scarce and very spatially limited. To deal with this concern and to assess vegetation dynamics through various spatial and temporal scales, parcels concerned by CFCG and others within similar conditions was chosen. Time series of remotely sensed spectral indices at each parcel was used for vegetation cover dynamics assessment. Google Earth Engine platform (GEE) was used as computing plateform.

As result, the spectral indices trends shown a long-lasting degradation tendency in areas planted without compensation compared to those concerned by CFCG. Such results were also verified using aerial images covering the analyzed parcels. As conclusion, within comparable conditions, CFCG improved vegetation cover trends. The use of GEE Platform simplified the process of treatment of remote sensed imagery and made it easy to assess the state of the vegetation and will be of great use in assessing the impacts of different programs and initiatives on the restoration of pastoral and silvopastoral ecosystems.