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Integrative geospatial approaches for the comprehensive monitoring and assessment of land management sustainability: Rationale, Potentials, and Characteristics

Authors

  • M. Buenemann,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Geography, New Mexico State University, PO Box 30001, Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001, USA
    • Department of Geography, New Mexico State University, PO Box 30001, Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001, USA.
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  • C. Martius,

    1. International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Program for Sustainable Agricultural Development in Central Asia and the Caucasus, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
    Current affiliation:
    1. Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI), Avenida dos Astronautas 1758, 12227-010 São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil.
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  • J. W. Jones,

    1. Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Florida, PO Box 110570, Gainesville, FL 32611-0570, USA
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  • S. M. Herrmann,

    1. Science Systems and Applications, Inc. Biospheric Sciences Branch, Code 614.4, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20171, USA
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  • D. Klein,

    1. Department of Remote Sensing, Institute of Geography, University of Würzburg, Am Hubland, 97074 Würzburg, Germany
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  • M. Mulligan,

    1. Department of Geography, King's College London, Strand, London, WC2R 2LS, UK
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  • M. S. Reed,

    1. Aberdeen Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Centre for Planning and Environmental Management, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, St Mary's, Aberdeen AB24 3UF, UK
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  • M. Winslow,

    1. International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Patancheru 502324, Andhra Pradesh, India
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  • R. A. Washington-Allen,

    1. Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Texas A&M University, 2138 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-2138, USA
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  • R. Lal,

    1. Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, School of Environment and Natural Resources, Ohio State University, 210 Kottman Hall, 2021 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1085, USA
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  • D. Ojima

    1. Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1499, USA
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Abstract

Sustainable dryland management seeks to improve the conditions of people and ecosystems affected by degradation, but it is often unclear which land management strategies work, which ones do not and why. Monitoring and assessment (M&A) can support decision-making by providing this information. As implied by the 10-year Strategy of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), however, M&A efforts have thus far been insufficient or inadequate. We argue that integrative geospatial approaches should be implemented to enhance dryland management decision-making. By assimilating and linking human and environmental data, qualitative and quantitative data, as well as field and remotely sensed data in a spatially explicit framework, such approaches facilitate assessments of both the complexities and place-specificities inherent to sustainability. In addition, they help represent different stakeholder perspectives, promote communication among scientists from diverse backgrounds as well as between scientific and local experts, facilitate inter-institutional knowledge sharing, and create synergy between the UNCCD and other Conventions. Due to these benefits as well as the rapid evolution and increasing availability and affordability of geospatial data and technologies in all countries, it is appropriate to begin capitalizing more fully on them now for the M&A of land management sustainability. In order for integrative geospatial approaches to become more central to M&A efforts, however, capacities and infrastructure must be improved and standards and protocols developed for the collection, analysis, and modeling of data, for the evaluation of outputs, and for the reporting of results. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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