Remote sensing for the Caatinga of Brazil

Learning to live with the forest: remote sensing for sustainable use of seasonally dry tropical forests.

Brazilian forest landscape
Project lead

Dr Justin F Moat


Dr Eimear M Nic-Lughadha, Co-Investigator
Dr Eve J Lucas, Researcher Co-Investigator
Dr Melanie-Jayne Howes, Researcher
Tim Wilkinson, Researcher
Dr Barnaby Walker, Researcher
Dr Melina Zemipla (RAL Space)
Dr Michelle Hamilton (RAL Space)

Seasonally dry tropical forests are an extensive biome found in tropical regions of Central and South America, Africa and Southeast Asia.

In all of these regions, they are associated with local poverty, unsustainable use leading to desertification, and ultimately migration of local populations to cities, which has the compounding effect of displacing poverty and associated social problems to urban areas.There is a severe and immediate need to provide methods by which this fragile biome can be monitored and protected, thereby helping to conserve and preserve these habitats for the plants, animals, and people who live there.

In this project we aim to utilise new remote sensing technologies and methodologies to support conservation and sustainable use in order to prevent the loss of dry forests, showcasing application of this technology in dry forests of Brazil. We will use the expertise and technology found and developed in the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL Space) and combine it with the interdisciplinary experience of botanists (RBG Kew, St Andrews, Ceará [Brazil]) and social scientists (St Andrews, Forest Research), to co-develop tools with Brazilian stakeholders (Brazilian government, private and research sector academic and technological agencies).

We will do this to address the UN Sustainable Development Goal 15: ‘Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss’.

Science & Technology Facilities Council ST/S002863/1

Dr Hugh Mortimer, STFC, RAL Space

Prof Thomas Meagher, University of St Andrews

Dr Laura Meagher, University of St Andrews

Dr Mariella Marzano, Forest Research

Dr Marcelo Moro, Universidade Federal do Ceará

Dr Jean Ometto, CCST-INPE

Dr Daniela Zappi, Instituto Tecnológico Vale

Prof Eduardo Góes Neves, Universidade de São Paulo