Forests are one of the principal providers of ecosystem services globally and serve as a source of diverse values to human society. Many of society’s needs, economic processes, and cultural or spiritual values depend on forests. Forests are known to be crucial sources of food, medicine drinking water, and immense recreational, aesthetic, and spiritual benefits for millions of people but they also host more than 80% of all species living on land (FAO and UNEP, 2020). These benefits have not been properly assessed especially in tropical Africa as compared to other regions (Castañeda, 2011).

The increasing anthropogenic threats to tropical forests in Africa are already affecting the provision of some key forest ecosystem services (FES) that help to mitigate climate change and at the same time propel conservation of nature, both being global importance issues. We focus on understanding and quantifying ecosystem functions and services that are modified across gradients of human intervention, with a specific focus on– cocoa productivity – which is thought to be directly affected by the structural and chemical composition and health of the surrounding forest landscape.

The expected outputs are:

(i) Initial Earth Observation (EO) datasets needed to expand analysis to other regions

(ii) Understanding of the EO metrics that can be derived and constructed and that reflect the health of a forest ecosystem going beyond the classical fragmentation metrics

(iii) Initial mapping of the health of the forest – cocoa plantation system with EO

(iv) Statistical analysis of the relation between forest health metrics and cocoa crop yield.