New book highlights value of remote sensing
Combining satellite imagery with nature photography, descriptions of conservation projects, and comments from park leaders and conservationists, a new book illustrates the contributions remote sensing is making to reaching conservation goals, responding to climate change, and improving human health and well-being
Sanctuary: Exploring the World’s Protected Areas from Space, published by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (Arlington, Virginia) with support from Nasa, debuted at the 2014 World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia.
The once-a-decade meeting is sponsored by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the world’s largest global environmental organization founded in 1948.
In the book’s foreword, Nasa Administrator Charles Bolden wrote, “Nasa and numerous other space agency partners from around the globe have used this view from space to make incredible scientific advances in our understanding of how our planet works.
“As a result, we can now better gauge the impact of human activity on our environment and measure how and why our atmosphere, oceans, and land are changing.
“As a former astronaut who has looked upon our beautiful planet from space, I hope that we can advance the use of space-based remote sensing and other geospatial tools to study, understand, and improve the management of the world’s parks and protected areas as well as the precious biodiversity that thrives within their borders.”
There are about 209,000 protected areas worldwide, covering 14 percent of the planet’s land and 11 percent of coastal areas, as well as 3.6 percent of the world’s oceans.
The book is available for free download as a PDF file (22Mb) here.