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Green Book of Remote Sensing Focuses on China's Sustainable Development

Jun 16, 2017     Email"> PrintText Size

A Report on Remote Sensing Monitoring of China's Sustainable Development (2016) was released as a green book by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) on June 12, the first report of its kind in China. 

The green book is a collection of monitoring results completed by scientists from the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI). The monitoring focuses on seven of the 25 economic and social indicators outlined by the national "13th Five-year Plan" (2016-2020), aiming to establish a set of evaluation indices for China's sustainable development.  It is expected to provide a reference for central and local governments in decision-making, policy deployment and related evaluations. 

The seven monitoring fields cover land use, vegetation, urbanization, atmospheric pollution, grain production, water use and water environmental protection. 

The report generalizes the changes of land use in China, including its offshore islands in the past 30 years, spatiotemporal characteristics of its vegetation distribution from 2001 to 2014, air quality from 2010 to 2015, water resources and water quality from 2000 to 2015, and grain production trends from 2010 to 2015. 

The report also elaborates on changes in land use and vegetation distribution on a provincial scale, regional atmospheric conditions of China's typical urban agglomeration, grain production in the main grain-producing areas, water profits and losses in China's typical watersheds, and the water environment. Urban planning via remote sensing in support of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region as a collaborative innovation community is also discussed in the report. 

The remote sensing data used in the report come from China's domestically developed satellites, which cover specific fields including resources and the environment and seas and oceans, in combination with high-resolution Earth-observation satellites, as well as a variety of foreign satellites. 

Remote sensing technology, capable of Earth observation at the regional or global scale, has been widely applied to monitoring resources and the environment, socioeconomic phenomena, and other fields. The surging domestic demand for remote sensing satellite data has also fueled the development of China's Earth observation. 

With the development of China's High-Resolution Earth Observation System and the continuous improvement of space-based observation infrastructure, China is building an Earth-observation system featuring high-temporal, high-spatial and high-spectral resolution combined with powerful ground observation. For example, the latest GF-4 satellite launched in December 2015 is capable of geostationary Earth observation with a temporal resolution of minutes, and spatial resolution up to 50 meters. 

These advances, no doubt, will “facilitate the dynamic monitoring of China's sustainable development," said Prof. GU Xingfa, Executive Deputy Director of RADI and co-editor-in-chief of the book. 

In addition, the large amount of scientific data presented in the report, which was independently completed by RADI in its capacity as a national research institution and impartial third party, are "scientific and objective," said GU. 

Starting with this 2016 report, the green book series of remote sensing will be issued annually to follow the implementation of the national 13th Five-Year Plan. 

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(Editor: CHEN Na)

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