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Global tropical wetland monitoring

Degraded and converted wetlands are in poor condition and therefore do not contribute to maintaining the desired water quality. Water absorbing capacity of wetlands and river is negatively affected, often leading to extreem flooding and fires in dry periods in agricultural and residential areas inlowland areas. The conversion of mangroves to shrimp ponds affects coastal protection putting millions of people in low-lying areas at risk. Geo-information is required to get a better grip on these problems, but in tropical areas such a critical information is frequently not available for the implementation of solutions. Reliable geo-information on wetlands is currently not available, as it is outdated, too local, and the frequency and density of measurements is too low. Users including the Indonesian government indicate that the current satellite technology is not able to assess the extent and quality of wetland areas in support of effective management and policy implementation. Traditional satellite methods are inadequate because of cloud cover and poor detection of wetland features. New Dutch radar techniques offer a solution by seeing through clouds and superior moisture detection, but it appears that there is a lack of awareness on how to use the radar images and derived map products. Therefore the techniques can at present not be applied consistently and cost-effectively by users. Also in the Dutch water sector this information and knowledge is stille largely unavailable and therefor unexploited.

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