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

India has been elected to lead the Working Group VII/2 of the International Society of 
Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) for the term 1996-2000. This Working Group deals 
with the “Application of Remote Sensing for Sustainable Development” under the Commission’s 
main theme, “Resource and Environment Monitoring.” 
The explosive growth of population, constantly depleting natural resources and alarming rates 
of degradation of environment have forced the planners and managers alike to think and act in terms 
of sustainable use of natural resources. The latter basically refers to the maintenance of a fragile 
balance between productivity functions, and conservation practices through identification and 
monitoring of problem areas and proposes application of alternative landuse practices for socio 
economic development, while aiming at restoration and improvement of all encompassing 
The sustainability of natural resources and environment has become a matter of primary 
concern for one and all, considering the explosive growth of world’s population, depletion of natural 
resources at a very fast pace combined with all round degradation of environment. With a larger 
part of world’s population inhabiting the rural areas amidst insufficient financial resources and 
infrastructural facilities, it is very important that all available technologies including that of Remote 
Sensing and Geographic Information System are utilised for the socio-economic as well as 
environmental development of such areas. 
It was with this in view that a workshop on “Environmental modelling using RS & GIS for 
Sustainable development” was organised on 11 th March 1999 at the Indian Institute of Remote 
Sensing, Dehradun, to coincide with the International Conference “Geoinformatics Beyond - 2000” 
on Geoinformatics for natural resource assessment, monitoring and management during March 9 th - 
11 th , 1999. 
The workshop course was adequately designed to include aspects of environment and its 
modelling using Remote Sensing and GIS which are necessary for the understanding and 
implementation of sustainable development programme, viz., Overview of space technology for 
sustainable development, Role of remote sensing for land resource development, Soil mapping, 
Land degradation, Forest ecosystems and ecological analysis, Hydrogeomorphological parameter 
for ground water modelling, Artificial recharge and water harvesting and agricultural crop acreage 
and yield estimation, and watershed mahagement/planning. These topics were covered by experts 
from various units of Department of Space, viz., Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad; Regional 
Remote Sensing Service Centres, Nagpur and Dehradun; Advanced Data Research Institute, 
Hyderabad; National Remote Sensing Agency, Hyderabad; Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, 
Dehradun; and also Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. 
I hope this volume will be educative, and serve as a useful handbook for those personnel who 
wish to understand the intricacies of environmental modelling and its role in sustainable 
Chair # 
ISPRS Working Group VII/2

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