MAPPING OF BLUE CARBON ECOSYSTEMS: EFFECT OF PROXIMITY, ACTIVITY TYPES AND FREQUENCY OF VISITS IN THE ACCURACY OF PARTICIPATORY MAPS
Interest in blue carbon has drastically increased in recent years, particularly in improving the coastal resource carbon storage estimates and the development of methodology for identifying and monitoring such resources. In coastal resource mapping, participatory mapping techniques have the potential to provide a level of granularity and detail by taking advantage of local knowledge. In this work, we aim to evaluate the agreement between blue carbon ecosystem status obtained from participatory mapping versus the ones discriminated from satellite images, as well as assess how “relative proximity” to landmarks affects the accuracy. Results showed that the accuracy of mapped mangrove extents, evaluated as intersection-over-union, is positively correlated with frequency of visits. It is also found that maps generated by participants who have jobs or activities that nurture awareness about mangroves and seagrasses tend to agree better with remotely-sensed maps. The participants were even able to identify small patches of mangroves and seagrasses that are not present in the classified satellite images. While our initial work explores factors that impact the consistency between these sources, there is a need to establish a baseline for which both sources of information are evaluated against; and define relevant accuracy metrics. Our final goal is to systematically combine these two sources of information for an accurate holistic coastal resource map.