Land use land use/cover change can impact the country’s drive towards sustainable development by affecting a wide range of natural processes. Therefore it is important that many old practices that contribute to the country’s environmental deficit be identified and replaced with a new approach that contributes to the improving and preservation of a healthy environment.
Literature has shown that the implementation of technical managerial skills can improve environmental management measures. Hence the use of remote sensing and GIS has become the most effective tool for assessing monitoring and illustrating all these changes. Remote sensing, as with all technological media, increases productivity, as access to remotely sensed data is becoming easier and more cost effective compared to conventional means of data acquisition.
However there are limitations in monitoring LU/C changes. Firstly the resolution of the imagery can affect the accuracy in image classification and detecting changes in land features, for example it may be difficult to distinguish forest land and agricultural lands. Secondly, to monitor changes within an area, multi-date data is needed, also there maybe difficulties in acquiring data of satisfactory quality. Another major limitation will include the frequency of cloud cover, which will lead to inconsistency in the data. Thus, it is expected that this study has to deal with removing these clouds and their shadows from the acquired satellite images, and to fill the gaps with relevant and concurrent data. Aerial photography would definitely provide a valid alternative. However, the concern would be adopting the appropriate approach for extracting information in format and scale compatible to those of the satellite images.
Agard, John and Gowrie, M. 2003. Environmental Vulnerability Index (EVI): Provisional indices and profiles for Trinidad and Tobago. State of the Environment Report 2001 & 2002. Environmental Management Authority.
Al-Tahir, R. and Baban, S. 2006. Using remote sensing to develop land degradation indicators for the Caribbean. RSPSoc Annual Conference 2006, Cambridge, UK. CD-ROM, 9 pages.
Al-Tahir, R., Chinchamee, A., and Baban, S. 2008. A simple approach for managing cloud cover in satellite imagery of tropical regions. . Caribbean Geography (in review).
Barbados Ministry of Housing, Lands and the Environment. National Commission on Sustainable Development. 2004. The Barbados sustainable development policy / prepared by the National Commission on Sustainable Development; edited by Derrick Oderson and Amrikha Singh. Bridgetown, Barbados: National Commission on Sustainable Development.