Remote sensing has a vital role in monitoring, analyzing, diagnosing, and predicting the dynamics of ecosystems for food and environmental decision-making at various scales. Spatio-temporal information of ecosystems is the important basis for such as precision crop management, yield assessment, mitigation of greenhouse gas emission, and adaptation to global climate change. Since the issues concerning agriculture, ecosystems and environment are strongly linked each other due to bio-geo-physical processes as well as globalization of market economy, the consistent earth observation is required for such applications. Combination of remote sensing, geoinformation and modeling may be the most promising approach. Inter-disciplinary, inter-agency, and international collaborations are needed towards better solutions for ecosystem problems.
Since ocean observations were conducted exclusively by ships and buoys, the global ocean had been poorly sampled both spatially and temporally until 1970's when the satellite observation started to significantly change the situation. In this paper, brief history of satellite-based global observation, together with its contribution to oceanography is reviewed in terms of target parameters such as ocean color, sea surface temperature and height, wind field, wave height, and sea ice. Prospects of experimental missions for surface salinity observation are also discussed. The paper points out the importance of international cooperation in view of much enhanced and well-coordinated operational observation system.
Current forest research has two primary directions. One concerns the effects of forests on global warming and other environmental problems, e.g., the role of forests as carbon dioxide sinks, and how this applies to forest management. This issue is highly political and of global importance. Many members of this academic society are involved in research related to this problem. The other theme of current forest research focuses on forest industries, specifically wood products and biomass produced from the forest. Such practical forestry research affects the economics of practical forestry operations and forest utilization. Although forestry has been a declining industry in Japan, as forest resources went through a conversion period, it is now considered a growth industry. Japan is, in many ways, a forestry-based society ; a large percentage of the population work in forestry management and the forestry and wood products related industries. Therefore, it is important to have an understanding of forests and forestry to evaluate the contributions of remote sensing technology to Japanese society. The association members of this academic society may not have detailed knowledge of forests and the forest industry in this regard, therefore an outline is given. Then, this paper examines the contributions of remote sensing technology, which has a 30-year history, to forests and forestry by describing forest trends and the content of the forest reproduction plan with respect to forest remote sensing. The role and the contributions of universities are described in the section on technological development, education, and outreach. Finally, the contributions of remote sensing technology to forests and forestry are summarized.