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Monitoring land at regional and national scales and the role of remote sensing

Dymond J.R., Bégué A., Lo Seen D.. 2001. ITC Journal, 3 (2) : p. 162-175.

There is a need world wide for monitoring land and its ecosystems to ensure their sustainable use. Despite the laudable intentions of Agenda 21 at the Rio Earth Summit, 1992, in which many countries agreed to monitor and report on the status of their land, systematic monitoring of land has yet to begin. The problem is truly difficult, as the earth's surface is vast and the funds available for monitoring are relatively small. This paper describes several methods for cost-effective monitoring of large land, areas, including: strategic monitoring; statistical sampling; risk-based approaches; integration of land and water monitoring; and remote sensing. The role of remote sensing is given special attention, as it is the only method that can monitor land exhaustively and directly, at regional and national scales. It is concluded that strategic monitoring, whereby progress towards environmental goals is assessed, is a vital element in land monitoring as it provides a means for evaluating the utility of monitoring designs. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : biodiversité; changement climatique; désertification; Érosion; Échantillonnage; mesure; dégradation de l'environnement; politique de l'environnement; télédétection

Thématique : Méthodes de relevé; Conservation de la nature et ressources foncières; Systèmes et modes de culture

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