Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 157-175

First online:

A Land Cover Change Monitoring Program: Strategy for an International Effort

  • D.L. SkoleAffiliated withBasic Science and Remote Sensing Initiative, Department of Geography, Michigan State University
  • , C. O. JusticeAffiliated withGlobal Environmental Change Program, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia
  • , J.R.G. TownshendAffiliated withDepartment of Geography & Institute of Advanced, Computing Studies, University of Maryland
  • , A. C. JanetosAffiliated withOffice of Mission to Planet Earth, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


An international system for monitoring land cover change is needed to support a range of scientific and policy objectives. Although much of the technology and methods are readily available, such a program has yet to be implemented. This paper outlines the rationale, requirements, and strategy for implementing a land cover-monitoring program using satellite remote sensing, field and ground measurements, and models and assessments. The proposed program builds on existing activities throughout the world and is designed to simultaneously meet the needs of the international policy, global change research, and national resource management. Outputs from this program would provide support to the Framework Convention on Climate Change, lead to the development of consistent country-level emission inventories, and address important scientific problems in global change research such as closing the global carbon budget.

carbon cycle emission inventories global land cover monitoring satellites