Forest resources are important for improving rural community well-being and alleviating the impacts of poverty. The International Union for Conservation (IUCN) commissioned GeoVille to establish a satellite based method for assessing forest-dependent communities with respect to climate change, resource depletion and deforestation. GeoVille developed the ‘Forest Community Fingerprint’ as a cost-effective tool to more accurately estimate the human-nature dependency structure in these forest ecosystems and to document drivers of sustainability and efficiency of interactions between communities and their surrounding resources. The system statistically links in-situ surveys with geospatial Earth observation data to predict relationships between forest dependency and the community’s geographic and demographic context.
In the long run, the developed Earth observation capacity will support IUCN to enable an early identification of forest-dependent communities at risk of reduced adaptive capacity to climate change.