ReStory narrator: Anthony Mills
The South African government has funded the restoration of more than ten thousand hectares of degraded thicket over the period 2004-2016. In total more than 20 million cuttings of spekboom (Portulacaria afra) have been planted, including within a large experiment of 330 quarter-hectare plots. It has been impractical to regularly monitor the success of restoration across the ten thousand hectares and the 330 plots because the restoration sites are spread out over more than 1000 kilometres. Recent technological advances are now, however, making regular monitoring possible. The new Thicket Inspector tool has, for example been specially created using Earth Engine Apps for this purpose (see https://zandersamuel.users.earthengine.app/view/c4-thicket-inspector). The tool uses satellite imagery to analyse, at regular intervals since 2005, the difference in vegetation cover between each experiment plot and adjacent degraded land. Instead of relying on costly field surveys, landowners could use this tool for demonstrating to funders how successful their restoration interventions have been over time.
For a full article on the development of apps in restoration, visit http://c4es.co.za/a-new-generation-of-apps/