International Symposium on
Drylands Ecology and Human Security

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Remote Sensing for Monitoring Drylands Environments
Applications and Future Prospects, Case Study Sudan

M. A. Khiry1 &  E. Csaplovics2

1 Department of Forestry, University of Khartoum, Sudan
presently: Department of Geosciences, University of Dresden, Germany

2 Department of Geosciences, University of Dresden, Germany


Arid and semi-arid lands cover approximately one third of the continental surface of the earth. The dry land areas are characterized by irregularity and shortage of rainfall, prolonged dry seasons, high temperature and high evaporation. Such variation in climatic factors makes dry lands more fragile and prone to land degradation and desertification. The dry lands in Sudan cover approximately 60% of the country (1.5 million square kilometers), thus, constituting the largest area of dry lands in Africa. One of the most important recently  issues facing Sudan as well as sub-Sahara Africa is the threat of continued drought and desertification, of resulting destruction of natural resources, agricultural lands and their political and social disturbances. Monitoring of desertification and land degradation in such regions is considered as very important tasks in the context of global climatic change and worldwide desertification dynamic. Ideally, remote sensing and satellites imageries with temporal and synoptic view play a major role in developing a global and local operational capability for motioning land degradation and desertification in drylands as well as in Sudan. In this capacity, there are many efforts in the development of different remotely sensed methods for monitoring and provide information on dry land degradation. The presented paper is going firstly, to review and highlighting the applications of remote sensing for assessing and monitoring the desertification in arid and semi-arid areas in Sudan. Secondly, analyses and discussed the limitations and future prospects of adopted remote sensing techniques in monitoring dry lands. The conclusions of results were showed the efficiency and capabilities as well as the limitations of using remote sensing data for monitoring and mapping desertification especially in dry lands areas. The paper showed the usefulness of remote sensing techniques for desertification monitoring in Sudan, and recommended the adoption of such techniques in Sudan as well as in arid and semi-arid areas in Africa.

Keywords: Drylands, remote sensing, land degradation and desertification, Sudan