The Use of Remote Sensing Analysis for Evaluating the Impact of Development Projects in the Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem

Date:
April 2020
Document Type:
Staff Publications
Status:
Published
File:

Remote sensing has long been valued as a data source for monitoring environmental indicators and detecting trends in ecosystem stress from anthropogenic causes such as deforestation, river dams and air and water pollution. More recently, remote sensing analyses have been applied to evaluate the impacts of environmental projects and programs on reducing environmental stresses. Such evaluation has focused primarily on the change in above‐surface vegetation such as forests. This study uses remote sensing ocean color products to evaluate the impact on reducing marine pollution of the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) portfolio of projects in the Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem. Chlorophyll concentration was derived from satellite images over a time series from the 1990s, when GEF projects began, until the present. Results show a 50% increase in chlorophyll until 2011 followed by a 34% decrease until 2019, showing a potential delayed effect of pollution control efforts. The rich time series data is a major advantage to using geospatial analysis for evaluating the impacts of environmental interventions on marine pollution. However, one drawback to the method is that it provides insights into correlations but cannot attribute the results to any particular cause, such as GEF interventions.

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