Full text: Application of remote sensing and GIS for sustainable development

the average increase in temperature of 0.5 K. Even with 
the adoption of revised Montreal Protocol regulation 0.5 
(K), the global mean temperature rise is likely to reach 3 
(K) which can result in the rise of sea level by 18-20 cm, 
leading to recession of shoreline by 27-30m, change in 
rainfall pattern particularly in the tropical regions, fall in 
food production by about 15.0 per cent and 10.0 per cent 
depletion of ozone (Rao, 1991). 
Sustainable development of natural resources refers 
to maintaining a fragile balance between productivity 
functions and conservation practice through identi 
fication and monitoring of problem areas, and calls for 
application of alternate agriculture practices, crop 
rotation, use of bio-fertilizers, energy-efficient farming 
methods and reclamation of unutilized and under 
utilized lands. Although the importance of the role of 
holistic and systemic approaches to solutions for large 
scale and complex socio-economic problems has been 
emphasized for many years, it does not appear to have 
been seriously advocated or experimented for 
management of natural resources. The sustainable 
development paradigm is built on the premise that 
neither of the two objectives-economic development and 
environmental protection - can be ignored and that an 
acceptable balance must be achieved between the two 
(Haimes, 1992). The World Commission on 
Environment and Development (WCED, 1987) defines 
sustainable development as that which meets the needs 
of the present without compromising the ability of future 
generations to meet their own needs. FAO (1989) 
defines it as sustainable development is the management 
arid conservation of natural resources base and the 
orientation of technological and institutional changes in 
such a manner as to ensure the attainment and continued 
satisfaction of human needs for present and future 
generations. Such sustainable development conserves 
land, water, plant and animal genetic resources, is 
environmentally non-degrading, technically appropriate, 
economically viable and socially acceptable’. 
Globally, key problems threatening natural 
resources and sustainability of life support systems are: 
(i) soil degradation (ii) the availability of water and (iii) 
the loss of biodiversity (Hurni, 1957). Since the 
unsustainable patterns of production and consumption in 
the industrialized society and developing countries have 
led to environmental degradation, the Governments of 
the different countries have made the commitment to 
foster sustainable development at the Earth Summit of 
1992 in Rio de Janeiro. Agenda 21 of the summit 
addresses these issues in detail and identifies the action 
items for sustainable development. One of the issues 
which is addressed in the agenda is the conservation and 
management of resources for development. It could be 
achieved by planning and management of land 
resources, combating deforestation and conservation of 
biodiversity, combating desertification and drought, 
protection of the quality and supply of fresh water, 
protection of the oceans and coastal areas, rational use 
and development of their living resources, and 
protection of the atmosphere from pollution. It is amply 
clear from the foregoing that the environmental degra 
dation process unless detected early and action taken to 
arrest/mitigate, may lead to further deterioration. 
For sustainable development of natural resources 
Hurni (1997) has advocated an approach viz. sustainable 
land management (SLM) and is of the view that the 
natural resources can potentially be used in a sustainable 
way if appropriate land management technology, 
regional planning and the policy framework complement 
each other in a purposeful way in accordance with the 
principles and concepts of SLM. Sustainable land 
management (SLM) has been defined as “a system of 
technologies and/planning that aims to integrate 
ecological with socioeconomic and political principles in 
the management of land for agricultural and other 
purposes to achieve intra- and intergenerational equity 
(Dumanski, 1994; Hurni, 1996). SLM thus, comprises of 
three development components, namely technology, 
policy and land use planning. Following the 
sustainability paradigm, ‘appropriate’ would require that 
a technology follow five pillars of sustainability, namely 
be (i) ecologically protective (ii) socially acceptable (iii) 
economically productive and (iv) economically viable 
and (v) reduce the risk. 
Sustainability refers to the qualitative and quantita 
tive continuity in the use of a resource. It implies a state 
of equilibrium between human activities as influenced 
by social behavior, acquired knowledge and applied 
technology, on one hand and the food production on the 
other (Farshad and Zinck, 1993). Sustainability attempts 
not only to address global issues, such as resource 
degradation, deforestation and ozone layer depletion, but 
also local issues, such as maintenance of eco- and socio 
ecosystems or a combination of these. Sustainability 
could be defined in elementary terms by (Gallopin, 
V'(Ot+ 1)( V(Ot) 
where V is a value function of the outputs of the 
system. There are several perspectives of sustainability, 
namely economic, ecological, social and an optimum 
mix of ecological and economic perspective. From

Note to user

Dear user,

In response to current developments in the web technology used by the Goobi viewer, the software no longer supports your browser.

Please use one of the following browsers to display this page correctly.

Thank you.