NM-AIST project students Prisila Mkenda and Filemon Elisante travelled to Dar-es-Salaam to attend a workshop, run by the McKnight Foundation, about analytical tools. This included a significant element of training relating to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping. Using aerial images of a landscape and categorising the land coverage and vegetation types, this powerful tool enables analysis of a large geographic area, in order to understand larger scale effects of land use on local conditions.
We think that GIS could be an ideal addition to our project because there is existing evidence1 that large-scale changes in land use across a region can have profound impacts on biodiversity and hence ecosystems services.
1De Palma, A., Kuhlmann, M., Roberts, S.P., Potts, S.G., Börger, L., Hudson, L.N., Lysenko, I., Newbold, T. and Purvis, A. (2015) Ecological traits affect the sensitivity of bees to land‐use pressures in European agricultural landscapes. Journal of Applied Ecology, 52(6):1567-1577. Read here.