Remote sensing for policy

Rambling Geographer

Remote sensing: The science (and sometimes art) of obtaining information about an object without being in contact with it.

Remote sensing has a history of being used to develop and implement policy. Initially this history was in a military context, as much of remote sensing has it roots in reconnaissance. As the technology has developed and satellites have been launched for peaceful purposes, this policy impact has spread out across numerous fields. Understanding our planet and how it’s changing is a key agenda for environmental management, agricultural development, climate scientists, really anyone involved in trying to develop and implement sustainable development activities. One of the most easily traceable links between remote sensing and policy has been the use of (primarily satellite-based) remote sensing for mapping and monitoring global forests and their associated carbon stocks. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) definition of what a forest is was…

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