Session Organizers

  • Dr. Henry N.N. Bulley (Ghana native), City University of New York, USA
  • Dr. Frank Mugagga, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
  • Dr. Jane Bemigisha, ESIPPS International Ltd., Kampala, Uganda
  • Dr. Moses Azong Cho, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa
  • Dr. Barasa Bernard, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

Organizer's Insitutions

City University of New York, USA, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, ESIPPS International Ltd., Kampala, Uganda, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa

The goal of this Special session is to address the challenges to characterizing human-environment interactions for sustainable use of ecosystem services in urban and peri-urban areas across Africa.   In particular, the session will focus on role of current and future remotely sensed data in characterizing landscape change and environmental modeling to address the complexities in monitoring and modeling human–environment interactions including scaling, hierarchical structures and  feedback mechanisms in the provisioning of ecosystem services.

By 2050, most of the Africa’s young population will be living in major African cities.  Addressing the intricate challenges of urban-rural population dichotomy within the context of rapid urbanization, climate change and rural poverty requires a better understanding of the drivers and dynamics of both formal and non-formal expansions of peri-urban areas surrounding major African cities.   However, there is growing concern that current planning and development frameworks for major cities in many African countries are narrowly focused.  Technical and institutional capacity to characterize the extent of and nature of human-environment interactions at the rural-urban interface have not kept pace with increased economic and infrastructure development. Hence, the relative importance of peri-urban areas and how they impact ecosystems services in major African cities such as portable water, erosion control, food supply, and microclimate amelioration have not been examined in a comprehensive manner.  

As environmental constraints due to climate change continue to evolve, it is essential to adopt a framework that allows for the integration and telecoupling of biophysical and social drivers of landscape change at multiple scales.  Effective methods to characterize and quantify land use and landscape dynamics is critical to understanding and modeling human impact on the environment, in order to support policies and planning programs that can guarantee sustainable livelihoods. Landscape perspectives (including that of scale, hierarchical interactions and resource management) are imperative to maintain biodiversity, ecological function, and ensure sustainable resource management across boundaries.  Similarly, geospatial technologies (GIS and Remote Sensing) are indispensable tools for characterizing and quantifying land use and landscape dynamics across multiple scales.

We invite interested scholars and professionals from within and outside Africa to join us to discuss recent advances in integrating Geospatial Technology (Remote Sensing & GIS) and multi-scale landscape assessment to characterize human-environment interactions in urban and peri-urban areas in Africa.  This is a full day Special Session and it is organized by the Africa Regional Chapter of International Association for Landscape Ecology (Africa-IALE), during the International Conference of The African Association of Remote Sensing of The Environment (AARSE) from October 24-28, 2016 at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, to increase the knowledge base and applications of Landscape Ecology and Geospatial Technologies for sustainable development in Africa. 

Expected outcomes from the session:

  • A suit of common approaches that can be used to characterize human-environment interactions for sustainable ecosystem services in urban and peri-urban areas across Africa.
  • Policy recommendations for enhancing the role of landscape ecology and data and information management tools such as remote sensing and GIS for ecosystem services provisioning in urban and peri-urban areas in Africa.
  • A platform to facilitate and support synergies among organizations that are engaged in satellite-based landscape characterization, land use and urban planning, landscape based assessments, ecological modeling and sustainable resource management in African Countries.
  • Special issue on the session theme in the International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation.

Call for expressions of interest:

Interested participants should contact Dr. Henry Bulley ([email protected]) with a brief statement (about 100 words) and/or abstract by June15, 2016.

AARSE 2016 - Submit an Abstract