Special Issue "Remote Sensing Measurements for Monitoring Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 August 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ran Goldblatt
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
New Light Technologies Inc., Washington DC, USA
Interests: remote sensing; image classification; economic development; disaster management; night-time lights; built-up land cover
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Mr. Nicholas Jones
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery/World Bank, Washington, DC, USA
Dr. Nicholas Clinton
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Google Earth Engine, Mountain View, CA, USA
Mr. Trevor Monroe
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Big Data Innovation, Development Economics Data Group, The World Bank, Washington, DC, USA

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development reflects a unique global consensus and commitment of countries to action to end poverty and hunger, protect the planet, foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies and ensure that all people can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress will occur in harmony with nature.

The increasing availability of satellite data has transformed how we use remote sensing analytics to understand, monitor and achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. As satellite data becomes ever more accessible and frequent, it is now possible not only to better understand how Earth is changing, but also to utilize these insights to improve decision making, guide policy, deliver services, and promote better-informed governance. Satellites capture many of the physical, economic and social characteristics of Earth, providing a unique asset for developing countries, where reliable socio-economic and demographic data is often not consistently available. Analysis of satellite data was once relegated to researchers with access to costly data or to “super computers”. Today, the increased availability of “free” satellite data, combined with powerful cloud computing and open source analytical tools have democratized data innovation, enabling local governments and agencies to use satellite data to improve sector diagnostics, development indicators, program monitoring and service delivery. As petabytes of geo data are being collected, novel methods are developed to convert these data into meaningful information about the nature and pace of change on Earth, for example, the formation of urban landscapes and human settlements, the creation of transportation networks that connect cities or the conversion of natural forests into productive agricultural land. New possibilities emerge for harnessing this data for a better understanding about our changing world.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to stimulate progress in the remote sensing research domain related to measurements of developing countries achievement and monitoring of the SDGs. The issue will bring together novel methods and studies dedicated to remotely sensed measurement techniques of the progress towards achieving the SDG goals and robust methods and tools that improve the timeliness, coverage, and quality of SDG related data.

Dr. Ran Goldblatt
Mr. Nicholas Jones
Dr. Nicholas Clinton
Mr. Trevor Monroe
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • developing countries
  • United Nations

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Mapping Smallholder Maize Farms Using Multi-Temporal Sentinel-1 Data in Support of the Sustainable Development Goals
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(9), 1666; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13091666 - 24 Apr 2021
Viewed by 353
Abstract
Reducing food insecurity in developing countries is one of the crucial targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Smallholder farmers play a crucial role in combating food insecurity. However, local planning agencies and governments do not have adequate spatial information on smallholder farmers, [...] Read more.
Reducing food insecurity in developing countries is one of the crucial targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Smallholder farmers play a crucial role in combating food insecurity. However, local planning agencies and governments do not have adequate spatial information on smallholder farmers, and this affects the monitoring of the SDGs. This study utilized Sentinel-1 multi-temporal data to develop a framework for mapping smallholder maize farms and to estimate maize production area as a parameter for supporting the SDGs. We used Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to pixel fuse the multi-temporal data to only three components for each polarization (vertical transmit and vertical receive (VV), vertical transmit and horizontal receive (VH), and VV/VH), which explained more than 70% of the information. The Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Extreme Gradient Boosting (Xgboost) algorithms were used at model-level feature fusion to classify the data. The results show that the adopted strategy of two-stage image fusion was sufficient to map the distribution and estimate production areas for smallholder farms. An overall accuracy of more than 90% for both SVM and Xgboost algorithms was achieved. There was a 3% difference in production area estimation observed between the two algorithms. This framework can be used to generate spatial agricultural information in areas where agricultural survey data are limited and for areas that are affected by cloud coverage. We recommend the use of Sentinel-1 multi-temporal data in conjunction with machine learning algorithms to map smallholder maize farms to support the SDGs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Research Gap Analysis of Remote Sensing Application in Fisheries: Prospects for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(5), 1013; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13051013 - 08 Mar 2021
Viewed by 547
Abstract
Remote sensing (RS) technology, which can facilitate the sustainable management and development of fisheries, is easily accessible and exhibits high performance. It only requires the collection of sufficient information, establishment of databases and input of human and capital resources for analysis. However, many [...] Read more.
Remote sensing (RS) technology, which can facilitate the sustainable management and development of fisheries, is easily accessible and exhibits high performance. It only requires the collection of sufficient information, establishment of databases and input of human and capital resources for analysis. However, many countries are unable to effectively ensure the sustainable development of marine fisheries due to technological limitations. The main challenge is the gap in the conditions for sustainable development between developed and developing countries. Therefore, this study applied the Web of Science database and geographic information systems to analyze the gaps in fisheries science in various countries over the past 10 years. Most studies have been conducted in the offshore marine areas of the northeastern United States of America. In addition, all research hotspots were located in the Northern Hemisphere, indicating a lack of relevant studies from the Southern Hemisphere. This study also found that research hotspots of satellite RS applications in fisheries were mainly conducted in (1) the northeastern sea area in the United States, (2) the high seas area of the North Atlantic Ocean, (3) the surrounding sea areas of France, Spain and Portugal, (4) the surrounding areas of the Indian Ocean and (5) the East China Sea, Yellow Sea and Bohai Bay sea areas to the north of Taiwan. A comparison of publications examining the three major oceans indicated that the Atlantic Ocean was the most extensively studied in terms of RS applications in fisheries, followed by the Indian Ocean, while the Pacific Ocean was less studied than the aforementioned two regions. In addition, all research hotspots were located in the Northern Hemisphere, indicating a lack of relevant studies from the Southern Hemisphere. The Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean have been the subjects of many local in-depth studies; in the Pacific Ocean, the coastal areas have been abundantly investigated, while offshore local areas have only been sporadically addressed. Collaboration and partnership constitute an efficient approach for transferring skills and technology across countries. For the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030, research networks can be expanded to mitigate the research gaps and improve the sustainability of marine fisheries resources. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Monitoring Water-Related Ecosystems with Earth Observation Data in Support of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 Reporting
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(10), 1634; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12101634 - 20 May 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2620
Abstract
Lack of national data on water-related ecosystems is a major challenge to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 targets by 2030. Monitoring surface water extent, wetlands, and water quality from space can be an important asset for many countries in support of [...] Read more.
Lack of national data on water-related ecosystems is a major challenge to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 targets by 2030. Monitoring surface water extent, wetlands, and water quality from space can be an important asset for many countries in support of SDG 6 reporting. We demonstrate the potential for Earth observation (EO) data to support country reporting for SDG Indicator 6.6.1, ‘Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time’ and identify important considerations for countries using these data for SDG reporting. The spatial extent of water-related ecosystems, and the partial quality of water within these ecosystems is investigated for seven countries. Data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Landsat 5, 7, and 8 with Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) are used to measure surface water extent at 250 m and 30 m spatial resolution, respectively, in Cambodia, Jamaica, Peru, the Philippines, Senegal, Uganda, and Zambia. The extent of mangroves is mapped at 30 m spatial resolution using Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI), Sentinel-1, and SRTM data for Jamaica, Peru, and Senegal. Using Landsat 8 and Sentinel 2A imagery, total suspended solids and chlorophyll-a are mapped over time for a select number of large surface water bodies in Peru, Senegal, and Zambia. All of the EO datasets used are of global coverage and publicly available at no cost. The temporal consistency and long time-series of many of the datasets enable replicability over time, making reporting of change from baseline values consistent and systematic. We find that statistical comparisons between different surface water data products can help provide some degree of confidence for countries during their validation process and highlight the need for accuracy assessments when using EO-based land change data for SDG reporting. We also raise concern that EO data in the context of SDG Indicator 6.6.1 reporting may be more challenging for some countries, such as small island nations, than others to use in assessing the extent of water-related ecosystems due to scale limitations and climate variability. Country-driven validation of the EO data products remains a priority to ensure successful data integration in support of SDG Indicator 6.6.1 reporting. Multi-country studies such as this one can be valuable tools for helping to guide the evolution of SDG monitoring methodologies and provide a useful resource for countries reporting on water-related ecosystems. The EO data analyses and statistical methods used in this study can be easily replicated for country-driven validation of EO data products in the future. Full article
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