Context and objectives
All recent scientific evidences clearly point to the fact that the impact of global change on land surface attributes will not be uniformly distributed geographically. Assessing the regions “at risk” of rapid land-cover changes and/or natural disasters is therefore a priority for global change research and for policies aimed at mitigating the impact of these changes. The objectives of this project are to: (1) Use SPOT VEGETATION data to monitor over large regions the impact on ecosystems of natural disasters such as droughts, fires, floods and vegetation diseases, as well as land-cover change ‘hot spots’; (2) Validate and interpret SPOT VEGETATION-based maps of natural disasters and extreme land-cover changes with collateral data on natural disasters and ‘hot spots’ of land-cover change; (3) Integrate this validated product in the current efforts of the global change scientific community, sponsored by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP), to assess regions ‘at risk’ of rapid environmental change in order to focus research on most vulnerable areas and support the design of appropriate mitigation policies
Expected scientific results
The outputs are :
(1) a digital map representing the impact of the natural disasters and rapid land-cover changes which occurred during the period May 1998 to April 2000; and
(2) a detailed validation of this map, with collateral data on natural disasters (droughts, fires, floods and vegetation diseases) and rapid land-cover changes, information on the type of change and their environmental significance.
While the ultimate objective of the project is to generate a product at a global scale, during the first year, we are only processing data over the whole of Europe and Africa. The main end-users of this project are the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP), for the cross-cutting activity on “Vulnerability and regions at risk”. Moreover, the project provides a geographic product for the concluding year of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR), sponsored by the United Nations.
|Project leader(s):||UCL - Georges Lemaître Centre for Earth and Climate Research|