On the 21st November 2011, Space News (the online publication of record for civil space, military space, commercial space and satellite communications business) quoted IES scientist Alan Belward on the importance of Landsat data for monitoring and measuring activities, following his Pecora 18 Symposium speech and expert interview.
Following his keynote speech and press interview at the Pecora 18 Symposium, Space News quoted IES scientist Alan Belward in an article entitled 'For Landsat Observations, Data Continuity Remains Key', published on the 21st November 2011.
IES products such as the Digital Observatory for Protected Areas (DOPA) and the African Protected Areas Assessment Tool (APAAT) use Landsat data to monitor sample sites in Africa. Based on this data, they have found that since the 1970s, approximately 50,000 kilometers per year of land previously covered by natural vegetation has been transformed into agricultural land in sub-Saharan Africa. With the population of this area doubling over the same time period, demand for food and wood used for fuel is also increasing.
“This process of deforestation is not going to stop any time soon,” he said. “So the monitoring and measuring shouldn’t stop.”