In this study, we develop a vegetation monitoring framework which is applicable at a planetary scale and is based on the BACI (Before-After, Control-Impact) design. This approach utilizes Google Earth Engine, a state-of-the-art cloud computing platform. A web-based application for users named EcoDash was developed. EcoDash maps vegetation using Enhanced Vegetation Index(EVI) from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) products (the MOD13A1 and MYD13A1 collections) from both Terra and Aqua sensors from the years 2000 and 2002, respectively.to detect the change in vegetation, we define an EVI baseline period, and then draw results at a planetary scale using the web-based application by measuring improvement or degradation in vegetation based on the user-defined baseline periods. We also used EcoDash to measure the impact of deforestation and mitigation efforts by the Vietnam Forests and Deltas (VFD) program for the Nghe An and Thanh Hoa provinces in Vietnam. Using the period before 2012 as a baseline, we found that as of March 2017, 86% of the geographical area within the VFD program shows improvement, compared to only a 24% improvement in forest cover for all of Vietnam. Overall, we show how using satellite imagery for monitoring vegetation in a cloud-computing environment could be a cost-effective and useful tool for land managers and other practitioners.
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