- Dr. Zoltan Szantoi, European Commission - Joint Research Centre
- Ms. Andiswa Mlisa, Group on Earth Observations - AfriGEOSS
- Dr. Hussein Farah, Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD)
In 2013, a GEO Working Group on Land Cover for Africa was established under the umbrella of the AfriGEOSS initiative. The purpose of the Working Group is to develop pathways towards a harmonized land cover map for Africa to support the continent's environmental management.Global efforts towards sustainable development and climate change mitigation in developing countries are increasing. Most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are under tremendous pressure to feed their increasing population. This phenomenon requires a large increase in agricultural land at the expense of other land covers. Moreover, these changes are happening not only on lands close to human settlements but in the vicinities of protected areas as well.Thus, up to date information on deforestation, natural or human induced disturbances are essential to help developing countries to monitor these processes and to improve the management of their environment. Remotely sensed information using satellite imagery enables quick, reliable and affordable monitoring of these land cover change processes. Throughout the proposed session, particular emphasis will be given to forest loss, land degradation as well as agricultural expansion in and around protected areas as well as in some specific regions which are prone not only to anthropogenic but also to ecological disturbances.Thus, the main objective of this session is to present the latest findings on land cover change evaluations for protected areas and their vicinities in Sub Saharan Africa, based on medium and high resolution imagery during the past decades. The proposed session focuses its attention to show new ways of using satellite imagery and computer mapping techniques to support long-term sustainable development in Africa.