The growing human population and its demands on the earth’s resources generate a need for sustainable practices to continue its use of essential, life-supporting resources. The decision to implement sustainable practices often requires collaboration between different organizations; there is frequently a struggle between economically prosperous and environmentally friendly development initiatives. GIS technology bridges the gap between different sectors and acts as a tool to integrate, manage, analyze, and visually format data from multiple sources. Esri’s commitment to developing interoperable technology enables the cooperation between organizations to make well-informed decisions. The server-based software ArcGIS Server allows users across the globe to share ideas about how to meet their resource needs, plan efficient land use, and protect the environment to guarantee the survival of future generations.
Sustainable development is the balance of meeting humankind’s present needs while protecting the environment to ensure the fulfillment of future generations’ needs. Growth of the human population is inevitable, and GIS technology provides decision makers and land use planners with the tools to make well-informed choices to protect the environment. When targeting and planning areas for proper land use, GIS technology enables the visual depiction of
- Future land use by analyzing past and present demographics
- Estimated future populations
- Projected climate change
- Future habitat change
- Wildlife habitat needs and preferences
GIS technology aids planners in aspects of land use such as urban forestry. Maintaining a certain amount of plant–life in a city is important for health purposes. GIS aids in targeting areas in most need of trees and is a tool used to analyze population and distribution data to find the most suitable placement for the trees.
Preservation and Use of Natural Resources
Survival of the earth’s natural resources depends on their conservation through sustainable practices. The availability of potable water, biofuel, clean air, building supplies, and food is central to sustaining human life on earth. GIS is a tool for managing, analyzing, and modeling spatial and statistical data from the past and present to help predict future resource use and availability. This enables users to make well-informed, day-to-day decisions and plan land and resource use accordingly to sustain the environment.
GIS technology can also be used to target areas in need of valuable resources. Drought, famine, and natural disasters, along with their effects, can be tracked and monitored with GIS. Being better able to locate areas in need of aid ensures the ability to sustain human life across the globe.
Renewable energy is important in preserving the earth’s natural resources. Windmills, solar panels, and dams provide energy for human use and do not sap the earth of its valuable resources. However, these structures can often cause harm to the habitats they are built in. Dams and windmills often inhibit wildlife reproduction and migration. Disruptions like these can be prevented by modeling animal behavior with GIS technology and building around the wildlife.