IDENTIFYING SUITABLE LOCATIONS FOR MANGROVE PLANTATION USING GEOSPATIAL INFORMATION SYSTEM AND REMOTE SENSING
Keywords: Mangrove, GIS, Remote Sensing, Plantation Allocation, Best Worst Method, Multi Criteria Decision Making
Abstract. Mangroves provide numerous environmental benefits, such as carbon sequestration, water purification, climate change mitigation, and flood and Tsunami impact reduction. Despite these unique advantages, mangroves are threatened by the combined adverse impacts of human activities and climate change. Therefore, it is essential to implement reasonable practices to avoid further degradation of mangroves and provide efficient workflows to increase their extent. Accordingly, better plantation policies are principally required for their conservation and rehabilitation. In this study, we desired to detect suitable locations for mangrove plantation in coastal areas of Hormozgan Province, Iran. We considered a relatively new Multi Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) technique to combine ten criteria derived from remote sensing in a GIS environment. The Best Worst Method (BWM), as an MDCM technique, was implemented to determine the relative importance of each criterion. Afterward, all criteria were aggregated using the Weighted Linear Combination (WLC) method to produce a mangrove plantation suitability map. Statistical measures, including Overall Accuracy (OA = 95%), Kappa Coefficient (KC = 87.9%), and Area Under Curve (AUC = 98.79%), indicated the high applicability of the implemented method for mangrove plantation site allocation. The produced map could give managers a profound insight into finding optimal spots to plant mangroves.