ArcNews Online

Fall 2007

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Ongoing Planet Action Projects

Coral Bleaching in Martinique

Issue—Due to the warming of local ocean waters, coral reefs off the coast of the Caribbean island of Martinique have begun to bleach and are continuing to lose their color, which can lead to local extinction. Coral reefs are essential to the ocean's biodiversity, and their possible extinction would have a substantial social and economic impact on Martinique.

Objective—Detect and map coral reef bleaching in the Caribbean zone in collaboration with local environmental planners and scientists at the Antilles and Guyana University.

Project Team—Dynecar is a research laboratory of the University of the Antilles and French Guyana. Nev@ntropic is a French Guiana-based company formed from a partnership between Spot Image and the French Institute for Research and Development. In addition to developing and operating information services for a local earth observation image receiving station, Nev@ntropic is active in deforestation monitoring, health and the environment, marine environment monitoring, and urban planning.

Forestry Conservation in The Ivory Coast

Issue—Agroforestry combines agriculture and forestry by planting and managing trees and other vegetation among crops or on livestock grazing areas for ecological and economic reasons. The project will study the state of natural forests and the positive impact of agroforestry practices carried out on small farms near Taļ National Park.

Objective—Prove the effectiveness of agroforestry practices in combating deforestation, as well as rural development to improve the local population structure.

Project Team—A joint effort between Pro-Natura International and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), this union brings together similar concerns of social, economic, and environmental problems facing rural communities. UNESCO's long-standing biosphere projects have aimed to improve the relationship of people with their environments globally and have targeted the ecological, social, and economic dimensions of biodiversity loss and the reduction of this loss. Taļ National Park, located in The Ivory Coast, is home to a UNESCO field office and biosphere reserve.

Anony Lake Area in Madagascar

Issue—Many plants not indigenous to southern Madagascar have been introduced by chance or purposely, often for economic reasons. The combined pressures of human activities and global warming have changed the local environment, allowing some of these nonnative plants to proliferate at the expense of the local ecosystems.

Objective—Identify and locate nonnative plants in the Tolonaro area of southern Madagascar with a view to determining the main invasive plant species.

Project Team—Graines d'iles is a France-based nonprofit association created in 2004, operating to pursue and preserve island biodiversity worldwide.

See also "Earth Observation and GIS Industries Take Action Against Climate Change."

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