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HONOLULU, Hawaii (September 9, 1997 - PIDP/CPIS)---The capability of the Hawaii-based Spatial Information Lab to detect and evaluate environmental changes in the Pacific Islands region and Asia has just been enhanced by a $175,508 grant from the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The funding will be used by the East-West Center facility to observe, for example, changes in forest growth by remote control, using such tools as satellite images and aerial photographs.

Jefferson Fox, a Senior Fellow in the East-West Center Program on Environment, says recent work by the Lab involved a study of land cover changes in parts of Thailand, Vietnam and China. The research found that more than 60 percent of the land remains under some kind of tree cover, but the type of forest and other vegetation has changed significantly.

Fox noted that the study results have significant implications for the Pacific, regarding such matters as global warming and land use issues.

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