International LCLUC Regional Science Team Meeting in South and Southeast Asia

Meeting Location: 
Meeting date: 
Tuesday, January 12, 2016 to Monday, January 18, 2016

Meeting Focus
South/Southeast Asia accounts for more than 25% of the global population. Also, countries in the region have the highest population growth rate. This population growth together with rapid economic development is causing immense pressure to convert land from forest to agriculture and from agricultural areas to residential and urban uses with significant impact on ecosystem services. Increased Land Cover/Land Use Change (LCLUC) in the region is disrupting and perturbing forest resources, biodiversity, regional climate, biogeochemical cycles, water resources and other ecosystem services. The purpose of this international meeting is to provide a forum to discuss LCLUC and its impacts, with a regional focus on South and Southeast Asia. The meeting will be organized as a joint initiative of the University of Maryland College Park, USA, global change SysTem for Analysis, Research and Training (START), the Global Observation for Forest and Land Cover Dynamics (GOFC-GOLD) Program, with START and GOFC-GOLD being partially sponsored by the NASA's LCLUC Program, and with the guidance and help of Burma's Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Forests (MOECAF), University of Yangon, Burma, and several other academic/non-academic institutions in Burma.

The meeting is planned around four themes: 1). agriculture and water resources, 2). forest cover mapping and monitoring; 3). urbanization and 4). land-atmosphere interactions including fires. The meeting will serve as a forum to interact with international/regional remote sensing and GIS experts working on South/Southeast Asia. During the meeting, overview presentations will highlight recent research accomplishments and the state of the art on different LCLUC topics and will formulate future research directions and applications development needs for the region. This includes the new initiative South/Southeast Asia Research Initiative (SARI). The meeting will explore opportunities for coordination and collaboration among research scientists, teams, and ongoing projects aimed to advance our understanding of the spatial extent, intensity, social consequences of LCLUC and feedback to regional climate with special focus on Myanmar. The meeting will also highlight ongoing projects in the region which address land use change such as OneMap project in Myanmar. Participants will include representatives from academia, government organizations, non-government organizations (NGO’s), stakeholders, private companies involved in remote sensing and GIS, etc.


January 12th, 2016: Coastal, Peri-Urban LCLUC around Yangon Focus meeting and field trip
January 13th-15th: International Meeting
January 16th & 18th: Training on remote sensing and geospatial technologies for LCLUC applications

Executive Committee

-Dr. Chris Justice, Head, Dept. of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland College Park, USA; Email:;
-Dr. Krishna Prasad Vadrevu, Associate Research Professor, Dept. of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland College Park, USA; Email:;
-Dr. Soe Myint, Professor, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University, USA; Email:
-Dr. Garik Gutman, Program Manager, NASA LCLUC Program; Email:

Meeting Advisory Board

-Dr. Nyi Nyi Kyaw, Director General, Forest Department, Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry (MOECAF), Myanmar.
-U Kyaw Kyaw Lwin, Dy. Director General, Forest Department, Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry (MOECAF), Myanmar.
-U Tint Swe, Director, Forest Department, Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry (MOECAF), Myanmar.
-Dr. Jiaguo Qi, Professor, Dept. of Geography, Michigan State University, USA.
-Dr. Atul Jain, Professor, Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.
-Dr. Ruth DeFries, Professor, Ecology, Evolution and Evolutionary Biology, Columbia University, USA.
-Dr. Rama Nemani, NASA Ames Research Center, California, USA.
-Dr. Dan Brown, Professor, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, USA.
-Dr. Hassan Virji, Director, START, Washington D.C., USA.
-Mr. Senay Habtezion, Program Specialist, START, Washington D.C., USA.

Local Executive Committee

-Dr. Kyaw Naing, Professor, Pro-Rector, University of Yangon, Myanmar; Email:
-Dr. Htun Ko, Professor, Head, Dept. of Geography, University of Yangon, Myanmar; Email:
-Dr. Nilar Aung, Professor, Dept. of Geography, University of Yangon, Myanmar; Email:‎

Meeting Venue

Summit Park View Hotel

Training Venue

University of Yangon

Meeting Agenda Myanmar_Agenda.pdf

Meeting Presentations


9:00-10:20 Session-I. Welcome and Introduction.  Chair: Garik Gutman (NASA HQ, USA)

9:00 Opening address – U Win Tun (H.E Minister of MOECAF, Myanmar)   

9:15 Welcome remarks – Pho Kaung (Rector, Yangon University, Myanmar)

9:30 Welcome remarks – Garik Gutman (NASA LCLUC Program, USA)

9:35 Meeting objectives – Chris Justice (University of Maryland, College Park, USA)  [Meeting_Objectives_Justice.pdf]

Keynote Presentation

9:50       The NASA LCLUC science: Focus on South/Southeast Asia – Garik Gutman (NASA, USA) [Garik_NASA_Yangon.pdf]

10:10     Group Picture

10:20     Tea Break

11:00-12:45  Session-II. Regional Program Overviews. Chair: Garik Gutman (NASA HQ, USA)

Technical Presentations

11:00 South/Southeast Asia Research Initiative (SARI) – Krishna Prasad Vadrevu (University of Maryland, College Park, USA) [SARI_Vadrevu.pdf]

11:15 One Map Myanmar  - Joan Bastide (University of Bern, Switzerland) [Onemap_Bastide.pdf]

11:30 Land use/cover data, methods and products update – GOFC Land Cover implementation team  office – Brice Mora (Wageningen University, The Netherlands) [Land_use_cover_products_Mora.pdf]

11:45 SERVIR: Mekong – Peter Cutter (Spatial Informatics Group, USA) [SERVIR_Mekong_Cutter.pdf

12:00 ICIMOD activities in the Hindu-Kush-Himalayan region – Hammad Gilani (ICIMOD, Nepal) [ICIMOD_Gilani.pdf]

12:15  Discussion

12:45 Lunch 

1:45 – 4:50  Session–III.  Agriculture and LCLUC.    Chair: Chris Justice (UMd, USA)

Keynote Presentation

1:45 GEOGLAM international cooperation activities - Chris Justice (University of Maryland, College Park, USA) [GEOGLAM_Justice.pdf]

Technical Presentations

2:05    Global cropland data products for ensuring food security: methods, algorithms and products based on satellite sensor data at 1km, 250m and 30m  – Thenkabail Prasad (USGS, USA) [global-food-security-Thenkabail.pdf]

2:20   Climate sensitivity of winter cropping in India – Ruth DeFries (Columbia University, USA) [Climate_sensitivity_Defries.pdf]

2:35    Agriculture sector in Myanmar–An overview – Kyi Toe (Yezin Agricultural University, Myanmar) [Overview_Myanmar_Agriculture_Kyi_Toe .pdf]

2:50    Identification of agricultural land use using object oriented classification techniques – Aung Swe (Pathein University, Myanmar) [Identification_ag_landuse_Aung Swe.pdf]

3:05    Asia rice project - Thuy Le Toan (CESBIO, France) [Asia-Rice-LeToan.pdf]

3:20 Tea break

3:50    Conversion of agricultural land in the peri-urban areas of Hanoi: patterns in space and time – Pham Van Cu (Vietnam National University, Vietnam) [Conversion_of_Ag_Cu.pdf]

4:05    Mapping and modeling rice ecosystems with multiscale imagery – Nathan Torbick (Applied Geosolutions, USA) [Maping_modeling_rice_Nathan.pdf]

4:20 Discussion

4:50   Session – IV.  Posters.  Chair: Qi (Michigan State, USA)

 Poster introductions (3-minutes each) and viewing [All_Posters.pdf]

7:00 Welcome Reception


9:00 – 10:35 Session–V. LCLUC and Urban areas. Chair: Soe Myint (Arizona State University, USA)

Keynote Presentation

9:00 Trends and drivers of land use/cover change in India - Atul Jain (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA) [Trends_drivers__Jain.pdf]

Technical Presentations

9:20  Land use planning process in Myanmar – Myat Su Mon (MOECAF, Myanmar) [Land_use_planning_Myat_Su_Mon.pdf]

9:35  Land use/cover changes in Mandalay, Myanmar – Myint Khaing (Mandalay Technology University, Myanmar) [Landuse_land cove_Khaing.pdf]

9:50  National land use policy development process and USAID’s land tenure project – Robert Oberndorf (USAID Land Tenure Project, Myanmar) [National_LU_Policy_Oberndorf.pdf]

10:05   Geospatial analysis of urban landscape development in four state capitals in Myanmar- Htun Ko (University of Yangon, Myanmar) [Geospatial_analysis_Htun_Ko.pdf]

10:20 Discussion

10:35 Tea Break

11:05 -12:20 Session – VI. Panel Discussion – NGO’s Perspective on the Needs, Priorities and Challenges of Environmental Research in Myanmar. Chair: Hassan Virji (START International Inc.)

11:05 Participating NGO’s - FREDA, BANCA, WCS, EcoDev, FFI, Smithsonian Institution, ADPC, EEERIMM, MERN, WWF, WCS, USAID, SEEDS-ASIA 
12:20   Lunch (your own arrangement) followed by ½ day city tour (your own arrangement)


9:00-12:15  Session-VII. Big data, Forests and LCLUC.   Chair: Rama Nemani (NASA AMES) 

Keynote Presentations

9:00 NASA Earth Exchange (NEX) – A platform for scientific collaboration, knowledge sharing and research for Earth science community – Rama Nemani (NASA AMES, USA) [NEX_Rama_Nemani.pdf]

9:20 Global forest change products from remote sensing data - Matt Hansen (University of Maryland College Park, USA) [Global_forest_change_Hansen.pdf]

Technical Presentations

9:40 Challenges of national level forest cover change assessment in Myanmar - Aung Aung Myint (MOECAF, Myanmar) [Challenges_Aung Aung Myint.pdf]

9:55    Geospatial techniques for assessment of wetland landscapes and their restoration in India- J.K.Garg – (G.G.Indraprasth University, New Delhi, India) [Geospatial_techniques_Garg.pdf]

10:10   Contemporary forest cover changes and landscape fragmentation in Myanmar – A regional scale analysis - Sumalika Biswas (University of Maryland College Park, USA)

10:25     Tea Break

11:00   Development of above ground biomass (AGB) information system using different satellite data – Ajith Gunawardena (Geoinformatics Research and Development, Sri Lanka)

11:15   Carbon stock calculation and forest change assessment toward REDD+ activities for the mangrove forests in Southeast Asia – Wataru Takeuchi (Tokyo University, Japan) [Carbon_Stock_Wataru.pdf]

11:30   Integration of environmental changes in the Chindwin river basin using remote sensing – Kay Thwe Hlaing (Bago University, Myanmar) [Integration_environment_changes_Hlaing.pdf]

11:45   Discussion

12:15   Lunch

1:00-3:30 Technical Session VIII. Land Atmospheric Interactions including Fires Chair: Brent Holben (NASA Goddard, USA)

Keynote Presentation

1:00  7-SEAS campaign and in-situ instrumentation for validation of satellite measurements in Southeast Asia – Si Chee  Tsay (NASA Goddard, USA) [7SEAS_Tsay.pdf]

Technical Presentations

1:20 Enhanced processing of AERONET AOD to retrieve AOD under heavy aerosol loading -Brent Holben (NASA GSFC, USA) [Aeronet_Holben.pdf]

1:35 Application of remote sensing and GIS technology in the Dept. of Meteorology and Hydrology, Myanmar – Daw Htay Htay Than (Dept. of Meteorology and Hydrology, Myanmar) [Application_RS_Htay Htay Than.pdf]

1:50 Regional trends in land use/land cover change emissions in Asia - Prabir Patra (JAMSTEC, Japan)  [Regional_trends_Patra.pdf]

2:05    Deforestation in Myanmar – Land and atmospheric effects – Soe Myint (Arizona State University, USA) [Deforestation_Soe_Myint.pdf]

2:20  Fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan, 2015 – Bambang Saharjo (Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia) [Fires_Sumatra_Saharjo.pdf]

2:35 Discussion session followed by poster viewing

3:30 Tea Break

4:00-5:30 Discussion: Regional perspectives on SARI and priorities. Chair: Chris Justice (UMd); Rapporteur: Krishna Prasad Vadrevu (UMd)

End of the meeting