Sample Method for Application of Remote Sensing and GIS for Sustainable Land Management

Posted at: 13:07:15 12/07/2016 - Read: 231
Từ khĂ³a Key words:

Sustainable Development

It is a term which attempts to balance the often conflicting ideals of economic growth and maintaining environmental quality and viability. Such as, sustainability implies maintaining components of the natural environment over time (such as biologic diversity, water quality, preventing soil degradation), while simultaneously maintaining (or improving) human welfare (eg, provision of food, housing, sanitation, etc). In any definition of sustainability, the key element is change; for example, sustainability as the dynamic equilibrium between input and output. In other words, they emphasize that dynamic equilibrium implies change and that in order for a land system to be sustainable, its potential for production should not decrease (in other words the definition allows for reversible damage). This type of definition is most applicable when considering agricultural production systems, but may also be generalized to the management of natural areas. A broader definition of sustainability, such as that proposed by Brown et al includes the persistence of all components of the biosphere, even those with no apparent benefit to society, and relates particularly towards maintaining natural ecosystems.

Sustainable Land Management

Refers to the activities of humans and implies that activity will continue in perpetuity. It is a term which attempts to balance the often conflicting ideals of economic growth and maintaining environmental quality and viability. Economic activities may range from intensive agriculture to the management of natural areas. It is argued that in order to effectively “manage” resources, three elements must be present.  These are information about natural resources, clear policies on how the resource may be managed (eg, Acts of Government, policy papers, administrative procedures), and participation of everyone (including local people) with an interest or “stake” in the land. In this paper, it concentrates on methods to generate information about the resources, with an emphasis on how recent innovations in remote sensing fit with sustainable land management methods. In particular, we assess how resources may be inventoried by remote sensing, and techniques and data which may ascertain whether the activity is indeed sustainable. A concluding section discusses how the information (generated from remote sensing) is linked to policy and local participation.

Remote Sensing

The term ‘remote sensing’ is broadly defined as the technique(s) for collecting images or other data about an object from measurements made at a distance from the object, and can refer, for instance, to satellite imagery, to aerial photographs or to ocean bathymetry explored from a ship using radar data. However, in the present context, only optical images acquired by space-borne or air-borne sensors are considered.

Geographical Information System

GIS are widely used as tools to digitize remotely sensed or cartographic data complemented with various ground-truth data, which are geocoded using a global positioning system (GPS). GIS can be used to analyze the spatial characteristics of the data over various digital layers. If sequential data are available quantification of spatial changes becomes possible through overlay analysis. GIS is an expanding information technology for creating databases with spatial information, which can be applied to both human settlements (e.g. demographic databases) and to the natural environment (e.g. distribution of populations and environmental factors).


Authors will select a case study approach that includes case study areas with particular bio-physical settings and socio-economic structures. This plain is a predominantly rural area where agriculture and forestry are important economic factors, compared to national averages. However, there are major differences within the region concerning, for example, land cover, climate indicators, socio-economic structures and the historical development of the cultural landscape. There are gradients in indicators from west to east in terms of the climate and other factors: the precipitation decreases and the continentality increases, economic productivity decreases, grassland and livestock farming decrease, the average farm size increases, and the areas covered by forest increase from west to east. The pertinent land use challenges in all four case study areas are the increasing pressure on land available for rural production due to urbanization and transportation networks as well as the competition for land between food and agricultural energy production, all of which result in increased land rent rates.

Data Collection and Analysis

The results of this study will be based on an analysis of 60 qualitative interviews conducted with land use stakeholders in the case study areas. When discussing stakeholders, the authors will follow the definition of Grimble and Chan, according to which stakeholders are persons within a system “who affect, and/or are affected by, the policies, decisions and actions of the system; they can be individuals, communities, social groups or institutions of any size, aggregation or level in society. The term thus includes policy makers, planners and administrators in government and other organizations, as well as commercial and subsistence user groups”. The target groups in this study are representatives of relevant rural land use sectors involves in decision about rural land use practices and management within the case study areas. The land use sectors involve are agriculture (AG), forestry (FO), water management (WM) as well as a fourth group dubbed “cross-sector stakeholders” (CS). The group of agricultural stakeholders consisted of farm holders as wells as non-farm holders. Farm managers are included as well as representatives of regional agricultural administration offices and interest groups such as regional farmers’ associations. The forest stakeholder group was represented by managers of private forests as well as state forest managers, regional forest and hunting administration officials, and representatives of regional hunters’ associations. The water management stakeholder group included representatives from regional water body maintenance associations, private water supply and disposal companies, officials of regional water resource management administration offices, and irrigation associations.


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GeoInformatics Center - Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry

Address: Quyet Thang commune, Thai Nguyen city, Vietnam | Tel: +84904.031.103

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