ISPRS/ IGU/ICA Joint Workshop. Venue: December 5-6, 2013, Beijing, China

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Achieving sustainable development is a consensus of the international community, as declared by the Rio+ 20 Outcome Document. How to accomplish this task is a big challenge facing the government, private sector and academia. Nowadays the United nations UN are exerting great efforts in mobilizing the world to come up with a post-2015 development agenda based on inputs from all walks of life. It is the moral obligation of the borderland-related research community to have our thought and say, thus making our due contribution.

Borderlands are physical spaces adjoining national boundary lines and geographic units with unique characteristics in terms of geography, natural resources, demography, economy, and culture. In most cases, they unite as a continuum with the same ethnicity, economic pattern and natural resource, and share more common features with the neighboring country instead of the inner land of the mother country. These similarities and identicalness do no respect and cannot be divided by the artificial boundary lines which are politically dictated. People, goods, services and ideas flow across boundaries from state to state in a very easy manner. The borderlands are becoming more and more important in the context of global sustainable development and regional cooperation, and deserve special attention for policy-makers and researchers.

A better understanding of borderlands can be advanced through an integrated multi-disciplinary researches and the utilization of new technologies. During the past few years, we have witnessed recent scientific achievements and technological development in earth observation, global geographic information, geopolitics, geographic modeling, international relations and many other related subjects. This makes it possible to conduct a more comprehensive research of the borderlands areas in our planet through multi-disciplinary collaboration. New concepts and theories, methods and algorithms, as well as the advanced geo-computing tools/ platform can be developed to support the planning, monitoring, and management of borderlands. Scientific innovation and excellency in this domain will not only contribute to the socio-economic development and human well-being in border areas, but will also benefit the global understanding and sustainability.