One of the most serious threats to sustainable economic growth in developing nations is the increasing degradation of their natural ecosystems and the concurrent deterioration in the quality of life for their people. This paper presents two case studies on the utility of remote sensing as an environmental assessment and protection tool in two developing countries. These case studies were selected to represent the two major climatic regions where the majority of the world’s poor live. Guyana is a small tropical country on the northern coast of South America where 80 percent of the country’s revenues are used to service its debt. Jordan is a small arid to semi-arid country in the Middle East where the search for drinking water is directly linked to its development. In both these countries, as in many other developing countries, earth observation data are necessary for sustainable development.

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