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Télécharger le pdf "Article RS 2014 CIRAD" , Paper "Toward a satellite-based system of sugarcane yield estimation and forecasting in smallholder farming conditions: a case study on Reunion Island” (...)

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Land use modes


Confronted with a sustained population growth, the existence of protected natural areas and the farming activity that has to be maintained, the Reunion territory must face many challenges today.

At the heart of this competition, land-related issues are more topical than ever. In this context, the institutions involved in the fields of agriculture development and town and country planning need clear and reliable information to make their decisions.

Activities currently carried out by scientific teams

The Sustainable Agriculture and Environment Unit of CIRAD carries out part of its research on a territorial approach of farming activities at the different organisation levels. In the end, one of the aims of its work is to supply the parties involved in development with understanding and decision making elements.

In this field, the Unit is involved:

- On one hand, in a project for the development of an Information System for long-term prospects in the agriculture sector and the appraisal of public policies, in partnership with local institutions;

- On the other hand, in the Maeva project (Modelling interactions for the analysis of viability of anthroposystems), which aims at studying the interactions between environmental and social dynamics and the way they interfere with technical systems.

Relevance of a reference remote sensing database

The availability of 20 meter resolution Spot data since 1986, at the rate of one or two images per year, offers a very strong potential to monitor land cover changes, more particularly between natural or farming areas and built-up ones.

A multitemporal study of these changes (change detection, expert system...) would enable to understand and visualise the changes which have occurred in this field for 15 years and give a rigorous retrospective analysis of spatial dynamics to decision makers. This work would help to fuel a forecasting view and develop a relevant tool for the working groups in charge of the preliminary studies for the updating of the Regional Planning Programme.

For this project, CIRAD is in contact with the Reunion branch of IRD, which is interested by the potential contribution in terms of understanding of urban dynamics and periurban systems. Because of the complexity of the Reunion territory, this dual approach seems quite relevant. Moreover, the Reunion Temos project will also enhance the work carried out by CIRAD in the frame of the Maeva project.

At last, the “Common resources” team of CIRAD Tera intends to analyse the options offered by multi agent systems for change detection. This research constituent may be carried out in collaboration with the University of Reunion which has competences in this field.

Contact point

The scientific coordination of this activity is ensured jointly by Cécile MARTIGNAC, from the Sustainable Agriculture and Environment unit of the Centre de coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD), and Pascale METZGER, from the Reunion local branch of the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD).