Togo, a small country on the coast of West Africa, has little forest to map. Forests cover only 7% of the total land area; despite the already low coverage, deforestation rates are around 4.5% each year. The primary drivers of forest degradation are the expansion of agricultural land, logging, forest fires, and wood harvesting for energy supply. It presents a paradoxical challenge as the population grows and needs the energy supply the forest provides.
Crowddroning operator Paul Tchoou Gnassingbe and his crew mapped a local forest next to their hometown Agbalaho. They usually map forest areas with drones to create biomass inventories, evaluate road conditions, take measurements of forest growth and deforestation, and detect infections in trees.
Deforestation in Togo, driven primarily to expand agricultural lands, results in large CO2 emissions in the atmosphere that is causing climate warming. We want to provide tools to monitor deforestation so stakeholders can take action. - Paul Tchoou Gnassingbe