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Remote sensing for resources development and environmental management
Damen, M. C. J.

Symposium on Remote Sensing for Resources Development and Environmental Management/Enschede / August 1986
© 1987Balkema, Rotterdam. ISBN 90 6191 674 7
President of the Netherlands’ Remote Sensing Board
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very pleased that in Brazil ISPRS decided
to have this year’s Symposium of Commission Seven in
1986 is a very special year for all people in this
country occupied in the remote sensing field.
Consequently we are glad to be the host of this
The point is that, following a decision of our
government, we this year started a 5 years programme
for further development of remote sensing.
Let me take the opportunity to give you a rough idea
of what happened and what we expect to happen.
Remote sensing in Holland already has some history.
It started some fifteen years ago. The government
then initiated a working community for research of
remote sensing applications with a limited budget.
During the 7 years of its existence this community
built up a certain amount of knowledge regarding the
relations between object properties and remotely
sensed data.
The research activities also resulted in a number of
operational methods for earth observation to be used
in coastal zone managements, agriculture, public
works and environmental control.
At the end of this 7 years’ period 4 departments
decided to continue the research mainly focussed on
operational use of remote sensing for their own
In addition the department of Education and Sciences
financed some special projects.
The operations were supported by the Netherlands’
Remote Sensing Board.
Highlights of this period were the development, of
airborne sensors, digital data processing techniques
and the establishment of a remote sensing
The chooser modest conception, however, caused some
Firstly the limited budget (less than 2 min guilders
a year), then the incomplete organization structure,
the absence of a long-tei~m policy and also the
scarce relationship with industry.
In order to find a way out of these problems and as
a consequence of the Dutch space policy it was
decided to execute a National Remote Sensing
Programme. This programme has a budget of 30 min
guilders, spread over a 5 years’ period, starting in
The main objectives, of the programme are:
- transfer from research to operational use;
commercialization of operational applications;
- stimulation of research focussed on operational
- stimulation of basic research;
- development of technology;
- improvement of infrastructure.
The budget for the national programme is financed
by 5 governmental departments, which have a seat in
the renewed Netherlands ’ Remote Sensing Board.
Through contributions to projects Dutch industries
take care of additional finances.
They have two seats in the board.
As you will have noticed we did not change the name
of the Remote Sensing Board, although there were
rather some changes.
We also took care of a well fit infrastructure
within each participating department or group.
The board is assisted by a Programme Bureau to take
care of financial control, project contracting,
coordination, etc., etc.
During the execution of the national programme the
main priorities are focussed on the operational
implementation of the use of earth observation
techniques and subsequently commercialisation.
International aims are:
- remote sensing applications in the third world
- preparation for the European Space Agency’s ERS-1
More details of the national programme will be
given later on during this symposium by the
Programme manager, mr. Bunnik.
Thanks to the developments I just now described
Holland is at the beginning of a promising remote
sensing period.
I expect that the results of this Symposium will
further stimulate development in our country.
Ladies and gentlemen please let me wish you a
successful and pleasant Symposium.