Political Use of Land and Water Distribution: An Analysis through Statistical Data, Demography and Remote Sensing

Posted in 2000 Papers

Sound natural resource management is the corner stone of sustainable development. This issue assumes a more important role in Palestine where the physically scarcity of natural resources is compounded by the political conflict that further reduces the accessibility of these resources to the Palestinians. About 60 percent of the total land area in the West Bank and 24 percent of the Gaza strip are still under Israeli control. Palestinians have access to less than 20 % of their water resources. Problems such as land degradation, depletion of water resources and the degradation of water quality, much of which has accelerated dramatically in the last 30 years, has negatively impacted the social fabric and has had far-reaching social and political implications. At present, the land of Palestine is being subjected to two contradicting developmental plans in which the Israelis have the upper hand and are thus hampering Palestinian efforts to promote sustainable development of their natural resources. This means that conservation, management and protection of natural resources must be done in the context of restricted ability and a constantly changing and tentative political situation. This paper outlines how GIS is used to monitor land use changes under adverse political conditions.

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