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LAND COVER ASSESSMENT OF INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES IN THE BOSAWAS REGION OF NICARAGUA
Smith, J H. LAND COVER ASSESSMENT OF INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES IN THE BOSAWAS REGION OF NICARAGUA. HUMAN ECOLOGY REVIEW 29(3):339-347, (2001).
Our research objectives are to: (a) develop new methods using satellite remote sensor data for the rapid characterization of LC condition and change at regional to national scales; (b) evaluate the utility of the new NASA-EOS MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer) leaf area index (LAI) measurements for regional scale application with landscape process models (e.g., biogenic emissions and atmospheric deposition); (c) provide remote sensor derived measurement data to advance the development of the next generation of distributed landscape process-based models to provide a predictive modeling capability for important ecosystem processes (e.g., nutrients, sedimentation, pathogens, etc.); and (d) integrate in situ monitoring measurement networks with UAV and satellite based remote sensor data to provide a continuous environmental monitoring capability.
Data derived from remotely sensed images were utilized to conduct land cover assessments of three indigenous communities in northern Nicaragua. Historical land use, present land cover and land cover change processes were all identified through the use of a geographic information system (GIS). Results of the assessment reveals that the indigenous peoples were utilizing portions of their present claims in the decade before 1986, that most of the these areas were abandoned during the civil war of the 1980's, and that the residents returned to the region at the conclusion of the war. Also moving into the region at this time were mestizo settlers seeking new lands to occupy. Four change processes were identified as occurring during the period 1986-1995, deforestation, degradation, reconversion, and reforestation, with degradation affecting the largest area, followed by reforestation. The data produced by this study will aid the communities in retaining their lands, and developing land use management plans that meet their needs.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES DIVISION
LANDSCAPE CHARACTERIZATION BRANCH (RTP)