Wetland Inventory and Assessment
The initial research has been undertaken in Sri Lanka in collaboration with local partners. Key activities have included the mapping of wetland boundaries and land cover in the benchmark Ruhuna Basin; training of GIS(Geographic Information
System) officers in the CEA(Central Environmental Authority)
in wetland boundary delineation; completion of a locally relevant wetland classification with reference to the Ramsar Convention’s typology; development of a prototype wetland database and web-based user interface to facilitate data searches on Sri Lanka wetlands at the country, province, site and species scales; and formal data sharing agreements in place with local partners. This work is continuing with further results being analysed and prepared for publication.
At a wider scale the hard-copy wetland inventories for Asia and Africa compiled in the early 1980s are being made available on the web and the data being assessed in terms of wetland types and distribution in relation to various biogeographical data sets and the extent of agricultural and fisheries activity and impacts as a basis for ongoing temporal analysis as further inventory and assessment is undertaken through regional projects. A similar initial analysis has also been undertaken for the data held by the Ramsar Convention on wetlands of international importance. These data and analyses have not hitherto been available in this manner.
The development of automated tools for more rapid inventory and assessment is ongoing with initial emphasis on change detection techniques that can be used differentiate change in complex wetland environments where multiple and confounding factors are adversely affecting agriculture and fishery and/or having adverse environmental effects. This includes the development of land cover classifications suitable for detailed (i.e. high resolution) analysis in different wetland ecosystems.