Washington: From the astonishing river patterns along the Bay of Bengal to weaving waterways of the Sundarbans in Bangladesh, NASA has revealed some stunning images of the Earth's last untouched sanctuaries in a new book.
Titled "Sanctuary: Exploring the World's Protected Areas from Space", the book highlights how the view from space is being used to protect some of the world's most interesting and threatened places.
Uniting satellite imagery with nature photography, descriptions of conservation projects and comments from park leaders and conservationists, "Sanctuary" illustrates the contributions remote sensing is making to reaching conservation goals, responding to climate change, and improving human health and well-being, the US space agency said in a statement.
"NASA and numerous other space agency partners from around the globe have used this view from space to make incredible scientific advances in our understanding of how our planet works," said NASA administrator Charles Bolden in a foreword.
"As a result, we can now better gauge the impact of human activity on our environment and measure how and why our atmosphere, oceans, and land are changing," he added.
There are about 209,000 protected areas worldwide, covering 14 percent of the planet's land, 11 percent of coastal areas and 3.6 percent of the world's oceans.
Protected areas featured in "Sanctuary" include Hawaii's Papaphanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, New Zealand's Mount Egmont National Park, the weaving waterways of the Sundarbans in Bangladesh and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, among others.
Published by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (Arlington, Virginia) with support from NASA, the book was released at the 2014 World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia.
It is available as free PDF download at NASA website.