The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLVIII-M-1-2023
21 Apr 2023
 | 21 Apr 2023


J.-A. Morand, G. Jaffrain, C. Sannier, and J.-L. Weber

Keywords: remote sensing, ecosystem accounting, environmental indicator, landcover, landcover change, carbon, water, watershed, Guinea

Abstract. Over the past thirty years (Rio Conference, 1992), the climate has become an important issue in world politics. With the Kyoto Protocol (1997), atmospheric carbon accounting has gradually been introduced with the aim of raising awareness of national and international decision-making systems for the implementation of an energy transition. However, this carbon approach does not take into account ecosystems despite their fundamental role in climate regulation. A global assessment of all natural resources and ecosystem services, known as natural capital, is necessary from a sustainable development perspective. This assessment must then be taken into account in national accounting systems. The aim of this article is to test, on the national territory of the Republic of Guinea, the ecosystem-based natural capital accounting method developed by Jean-Louis Weber (Weber, 2014). Based on three accounts (ecosystem infrastructure, ecosystem carbon and water resources), this method aims to measure the sustainable capacity or 'sustainability' of ecosystems to provide services. Based on land use & land cover layers produced in the framework of the agroecological zoning project (Jaffrain et al., 2021), we have operationalised this ecosystem accounting methodology in the Republic of Guinea to calculate the total sustainability of the ecosystem. The land cover layers are the basic structural data for monitoring and describing the evolution of the territory at different temporal intervals. Thus, several environmental indicators were defined from these combined geospatial data and eventually allowed to define the evolution of the total sustainability of the territory's ecosystem between 2005 and 2015. A clear degradation of this sustainability value was identified, which reflects the numerous land use changes affecting the country in the recent period (2005-2015).