Special Issue "Remote Sensing on Earth Observation and Ecosystem Services"
A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2011)
Dr. Jan De Leeuw
ICRAF World Agroforestry Centre, United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, PO Box 30677, Nairobi, 00100, Kenya
Interests: mapping of environment and agriculture; drought early warning systems; remote sensing for index-based insurance; participatory mapping; remote sensing and impact assessment
Dr. Steffen Fritz
International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Ecosystems Services and Management, Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Fax: +43 2236 807 599
Interests: land cover validation (www.geo-wiki.org); crowd-sourcing and volunteered geographic information (data collection, quality assessment, creating added value products with VGI); development of mobile apps for land cover and agricultural support; serious gaming; economic land-use modelling; global land cover; cropland and habitat mapping; early warning and food security
The recognition that resources and functions supplied by nature benefit mankind recently entered the mainstream of social and economic thought and associated policies. Ecosystem services include the provisioning of products like food and water (examples of provisioning services), the regulation of our environment; for example climate through sequestration of carbon by the oceans, terrestrial vegetation and soils or the control of pests and diseases (which are regulating services), the maintenance of the capacity to support productivity, for example healthy soils that support sustainable agricultural production (an example of a supporting service) and cultural and recreational benefits (these are cultural services).
A first attempt to quantify the value of ecosystem services provided by nature (US$ 33 trillion) was made by Constanza (1995). More recently the 2004 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment popularized the concept and a variety of initiatives have been developed since then to sustain this natural wealth, including proper accounting for ecosystem services and policies to restore, strengthen or sustain the delivery of these. In addition Carpenter summarized a research agenda to understanding ecosystem services. Yet, many ecosystem services are under pressure from human activities due to growth at the expense of the benefits provided by nature.
Spatial information plays an increasingly important role to locate, value and price ecosystem services, as the availability of ecosystem services and the possibilities to manage their delivery vary geographically. Remote sensing and associated spatial modeling techniques hold particular potential for efficient accounting over large areas and the development and implementation of policies and interventions aimed at managing, conserving or restoring ecosystem services. Increasingly also, financial incentives, such as payments for ecosystem services (PES), are used to stimulate land and water uses compatible with delivery of ecosystem services, and spatial information is used to support the arrangements between beneficiaries and providers of ecosystem services.
This special issue of Remote Sensing solicits papers that present innovative remote sensing applications and related spatial modeling techniques to support the accounting and mainstreaming of ecosystem services in land and water management and the development and implementation of policies and arrangements aimed at their conservation and sustainable use.
Dr. Jan de Leeuw
Dr. Steffen Fritz
- ecosystem services; PES
- remote sensing; earth observation
- mapping; assessment
- natural capital
- decision making