Forest management and sustainable urban development in the Curonian Spit
European Journal of Remote Sensing
A major challenge in forest management is to balance the competing interests of different users. The conservation of biological diversity is an important goal when managing forests in an ecologically sustainable way but this overlooks aspects of sustainability in terms of urban development and other land use. This research examines physical and biological processes leading to changes in the spatial and temporal land cover on the Curonian Spit, in Lithuania, pre-and post-1990 when the political
... when the political situation changed heralding new practices. Specifically, the levels of cover categorised as vegetation, sand, forest, urban and grassland, are determined using remote sensing images over the period 1989-2017. An assessment of the accuracy of the analysis, when compared with Google Earth, other images and in situ data, produces a high level of confidence in the results. The analysis indicates that the overall forest cover initially decreased until 2009 but since then it has increased by over 1% per year. No urban growth is observed. These, and other results are displayed graphically. The forestation of moving dunes, the human impact on the area and changes in the environment are all discussed. The results demonstrate how remote sensing and GIS methods can be used as an important tool for planners, dispensing with the need for costly field trips.