Methodologies based on satellite images can be used successfully for monitoring environmental changes in coastal areas.
48.000 km of coastline in Sub Saharan Africa are threatened by the impact of development-related activities. In the Kribi area, tourism, fisheries, agro-industrial and port activities are competing for dominance in a context of rapid urbanization. The area has vulnerable habitats and rich biodiversity zones.
The COAST demo team assisted recently researchers in the field of geodesy and remote sensing of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (Spain) to develop a technical methodology with its corresponding results for the monitoring and evaluation of changes occurring in the coastal strip. Images from satellites Landsat 5 and 7 were used to obtain environmental indicators and biophysical parameters.
The study indicates a reduction of nearly 50% of vegetal cover in the coastal strip from 1984 to 2010. Higher intensity land-use changes were observed in the sector from Londji to Kribi, compared to those observed between Kribi and Grand Batanga. Two typologies of change have been identified; the ones resulting from the intensification of agricultural activities, and those due the expansion of the urban area and its communications network. The authors conclude that methodologies based on satellite images can be successfully used for monitoring environmental changes in similar cases. The models presented can be used in the mentioned studies and have successfully been used by authors in other areas.