Chapter written by DPDF 2008 Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change Fellow Cerian Gibbes, Lin Cassidy, Joel Hartter, and Jane Southworth.
Understanding the interactive effects of land management decisions and socioecological functioning is central to the study of human-environment interactions. Strategies such as designating or physically bounding parks are commonly used to conserve biodiversity and mitigate direct human impact on the environment. Remote sensing is an attractive source of data for monitoring such parks, as it provides a continuous source of consistent data across broad spatial extents. The current challenge to the field is its application in gradient landscapes where shifts from one land-cover class to another are subtle, as is the case in many savanna regions across Africa. This chapter explores implications of landscape monitoring and management strategies employed in eastern and southern Africa. We examine the suitability of various remote sensing approaches for quantifying land-use and land-cover change and how such studies can be used to monitor and inform the management of conservation areas in the broader African landscape.