Integrating Remote Sensing with Natural Resource Policy and Practice

Andrew Wilcox
Chad Oliver
Start Date: 
April, 2017

The ability to collect, analyze and disseminate geospatial information has never been greater and continues to improve.  Earth observing satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles, and georeferenced ground data (via map digitization or global positioning system) together form a powerful triad for all stages of resource management and sustainable development.  From inventory to execution, these technologies are revolutionizing how the world grows food, manages forests, and sees local and global change.  Yet adoption and operationalization of these technologies remains limited in many parts of the developing world, which contains a large proportion of the planet’s human population and natural resources.  While this is partially due to the cost of deployment, it is largely a result of the fact that the technologies have not been adapted to fit the distinct contexts and capabilities found in the tropics.  This proposal aims to use collaborative methods in the Amazonian region of Peru to catalyze this process of adaptation and ultimate integration into the resource management policies and practices with a focus on replication and scaling in other jurisdictions and settings.

This symposium and workshop will bring together key host country stakeholders and subject matter experts to explore potential real world applications and to develop pathways for implementation that are specific to the challenges and opportunities found in Madre de Dios, yet generalizable to the broader Amazon and global tropics.  Applications will include integrating these three technologies with existing activities such as crop extension as well as utilizing them to introduce entirely new capabilities such as real time pest monitoring.  Host country stakeholders will include representatives from local, state and federal government agencies, the private sector, producer organizations, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions.

The symposium will include technology demonstrations as well as presentation of potential use cases of the three integrated technologies, broadly breaking down into agriculture, forestry, minerals, infrastructure, governance and ecosystem services.  Subject matter experts will be invited to present on how they are utilizing geospatial technologies in ways that are relevant to the Madre de Dios region.  This will be followed by workshops in which local stakeholders discuss and document how their operations could be improved by geospatial technologies and how the key barriers to implementation could be overcome.  The desired outcome from the symposium and workshops is the development of a concrete proposal for funding and launching a model platform for geospatial data management, from acquisition to implementation and monitoring.  YCEO will be instrumental in generating images and data products for use by local natural resource managers.