ITV is co-creator of MapBiomas, a multi-institutional initiative involving universities, NGOs, and technology companies that came together to contribute to the understanding of the transformations of the Brazilian territory through the annual mapping of land cover and land use in Brazil.
In August, the project launched the third collection, a set of mapping data that allows one to investigate the territorial occupation of any part of Brazil, year by year, since 1985. The tool is public, freely accessible and free of charge.
Researchers from ITV Sustainable Development, in Pará, collaborated with the work by analyzing the dynamics of land use in the Brazilian Coastal Zone.
“This is the most detailed map of land cover ever made. Annual land cover and land use maps were made for each year from 1985 to 2017 at a resolution of 30 meters, based on the processing and interpretation of images from the LandSat satellite series on the Google Earth Engine platform. This allows a trip back in time and the possibility to see the history of Brazil in the last three decades, showing what happened in pixels of 30 x 30 meters,” explains Pedro Walfir, researcher at ITV’s Environmental Technology Group, who led the work for the institute.
Data can be found at www.mapbiomas.org. The site’s navigation tools allow you to explore the map of Brazil and create temporal visualizations of data for states, municipalities, conservation units, indigenous lands, and other territorial cutouts.
The project has made it possible to note with high accuracy several changes over the period 1985-2017*:
◾ Brazil had a net loss of 71 million hectares of native vegetation, equivalent to SP, PR, RJ and ES combined (the net loss is the total loss with the recovery subtracted);
◾ The agricultural area almost tripled in this period (growing 2.9 times), and the cattle-raising area grew 43%;
◾ The Atlantic Forest, a biome that covers 56% of the country’s urban area, had a net loss of 5 million hectares of forest; in the last 10 years regeneration has outpaced deforestation;
◾ The biome that saw the largest proportion of its native vegetation area disappear was the Cerrado, with 18% net loss;
◾ The Amazon lost the largest (net) area of forest in the period: 36 million hectares;
◾ Other biomes also had net losses: Pampa (-15%), Caatinga (-8%) and Pantanal (-7%);
*With information from MapBiomas