Project of “Remote Sensing for Environment of Angkor site” steps into an essential stage

For the second-year implementation of “Remote Sensing for Environment of Angkor site, REAS”, two research fellows, Wang Cheng and Chen Fulong, of the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI) and International Center on Space Technologies of Natural and Cultural Heritage under the Auspices of UNESCO (HIST) were invited to have a visit to Siem Reap, Cambodia in the period of 3-10 June 2014. Invited by the Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap (APSARA), Cambodia, the visit comprises two main agendas: 1) the participation of 23rd technical session of International Coordinating Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Site of Angkor (ICC), 2) conducting a field campaign.

June 4-5, 2014, the 23rd technical session of ICC was held in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Deputy Prime Minister H. E. Mr. SOK An and three ministers attended this session. Prof. Wang Cheng gave a representation titled “Remote Sensing Focusing on the Angkor Site Environment-Progress and Prospects” on behalf of RADI and HIST invited by the session committee. He emphasized the important role of space technology in Angkor site monitoring and evaluation through case studies of the deforestation, urbanization, surface deformation as well as TaKao temper laser scanning. This report received good responses from the Ad Hoc Group of Experts for Conservation, e.g. Professor Mounir Bouchenaki appreciated the effort of RADI and HIST on the sustainable development of Angkor site and emphasized the significant role of space technology for the Angkor site monitoring. During the session, Prof. Wang Cheng and Chen Fulong had informal discussions with other anticipators, e.g. Dr. Valter Maria SantoroAD from I.Ge.S. of Italy and Dr. Damian H. Evans from Sydney University of Australia, particularly in aspects of collaboration and data sharing.

June 6-10, 2014, the field campaign was conducted accompanied by staffs from the Water Management Department of APSARA. This campaign, covering the whole environmental scenario of Angkor site, focused on the validation of land use and land cover change (LUCC) and surface subsidence derived by remote sensing. According to the previously designed schedule, the campaign lasted for 4 days and covered routes with summed 150 km (north to Phnom Kulen Mount and south to wetlands of Tonle Sap Lake). The categories of LUCC on more than 700 sample points were derived, providing valuable ground-based measurements for the validation of remote sensing classification. Moreover, the instability of tempers in three core zones and the spatial distribution of pumping wells of Siem Reap city were verified on the spot, which is significant for the interaction study of temper collapses, surface deformation as well as corresponding driving forces.