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GDEST 2008 Conference Sessions 

Theme 2 - Analysis of Regional Challenges
A Case Study in the use of Satellite Mapping and GIS to Support Large Scale Conservation as part of the Central African Regional Program for the Environment
Paya de Marcken, University of Maryland, College Park, USA

Establishing a reliable baseline of forest extent and monitoring forest cover change across the Congo Basin is critical to evaluate the progress of CARPE towards meeting its strategic objective of reducing the rate of forest degradation and loss of biodiversity. Satellite-derived maps and geographic information systems provide spatial information and analytical tools essential for large scale conservation planning and effective monitoring of Congo Basin forests. Analytical tools, such as geographic information systems (GIS) help conservation planners integrate geospatial data on land cover, population centers and ecology to inform planning and policy decisions. Remote sensing provides the capacity to monitor the impacts of conservation initiatives on land cover and land use, which in turn relate directly to forest resources and biodiversity.