Africa is home to some of the most vulnerable natural ecosystems and species on the planet. Around 7000 protected areas seek to safeguard the continent's rich biodiversity, but many of them face increasing management challenges. Human disturbances permeating into the parks directly and indirectly affect the ecological functioning and integrity of protected areas. With the envisaged expansion of the protected area network and further expected population and economic growth in the region, the competition between nature conservation and resources demands is likely to increase. The regular monitoring of land cover in and around protected areas can support the early detection of conservation conflicts. In this paper, we evaluate the use of the annual time series of MODIS Land Cover (LC) type product between 2003 and 2009 to monitor land cover changes at continental scale. We use the mean classification confidence and change frequency as indicators to assess the temporal consistency of the MODIS LC classifier for accurately monitoring land cover changes. We discuss the perspectives and issues for an automated monitoring of land cover changes in African protected areas.
- tropical forests