What are sentinel landscapes?

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What are sentinel landscapes?
A sentinel landscape is a geographic area or set of areas bound by a common issue, in which a broad range of biophysical, social, economic and political data are monitored, collected with consistent methods and interpreted over the long term.

This long-term data is essential for addressing development, resource sustainability and scientific challenges, such as linking biophysical processes to human reactions and understanding the impacts of those reactions on ecosystems.

However, the major justification for sentinel landscapes is the need for a common observation ground where reliable data from the biophysical and social sciences can be tracked simultaneously and over time so that long-term trends can be detected, and society can make mitigation, adaptation and best-bet choices.

At the global scale, the data generated will fit into a global analysis of networks including other (humid) sentinel landscapes while providing a ‘dry-land ecosystem’ perspective to understand issues and processes that could be relevant to managing similar ecosystems worldwide.

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