Sustainable Development Banner


by keyword
by theme



Conventions and agreements

Energy and technology

Geoinformation, monitoring and assessment

Policy and integrated management





User network




About SD

"Preparation of a land cover database through remote sensing and GIS: Pilot study in Bulgaria"

Posted July 2002. This issue of the Remote sensing for decision-makers series (No. 21) illustrates recent satellite data and land cover maps specially devised for agricultural applications.
(Also available in French)

"Assessment of priority areas for trypanosomiasis control actions by satellite data and fuzzy logic: Pilot study in Togo"

Posted February 2002. This issue of the Remote sensing for decision-makers series addresses the control of vector-borne diseases and the management of rangeland resources.
(Also available in French)

Potential impacts of sea-level rise on populations and agriculture

Posted March 1998. Under the "worst case" scenario, global mean sea-level is expected to rise almost one metre by the year 2100, affecting more than 140 million people in China and Bangladesh alone. Now, an interdisciplinary team of FAO experts has conducted a major study of sea-level rise (SRL) and its impact on people and agriculture. The authors - from FAO's Sustainable Development and Agriculture Departments - review SRL's demographic, physiographic and socio-economic setting, its direct and indirect effects, and lessons from extreme events of the recent past. They conclude that "in general, it is likely that the relative importance of coastal disasters will decrease."

Biological diversity for food and agriculture

Updated November 2000. Prepared by our Environment and Natural Resources Service, brings together a variety of FAO-wide resources on the subject, including a briefing on the role of biological diversity in feeding the world, details of FAO activities, including databases and links.

Remote sensing for decision-makers

Updated May 2000. "Inventory and monitoring of shrimp farms by radar satellite data" is the latest case study added to this Special on the use of remote sensing and geographic information systems in planning and management of renewable natural resources in agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Summaries of the case studies are adapted from the Remote sensing for decision-makers series, intended for heads and division directors of national and international organizations and administrations, as well as for project managers, planners and policy-makers of development institutions.

Organic agriculture and FAO

Updated September 1999. Organic agriculture is becoming increasingly important in the agriculture sector. Its environmental and economic benefits have captured the attention of many countries, while consumer demand for organically produced food and fibres products provides new opportunities for farmers and businesses around the world. It also presents new challenges for FAO.

Agroclimatic concepts

Posted May 1999. René Gommes, Senior Agrometeorologist with SD's Environment and Natural Resources Service, takes us on a guided tour of agroclimatic concepts, illustrating climate risk and vulnerability in agricultural production, the "fundamental differences" between developing and developed countries in terms of climate risk, and actual production losses caused by climate variability at national and global scale. Illustrated with charts.

Maps of the World Food Summit

Posted April 1999. An update to our existing Special on Geographic information systems. As part of the World Food Summit Summit, FAO prepared a Technical Atlas, consisting of 19 global maps covering key areas such as undernutrition, population growth, food production growth, soil degradation, trade and refugees. The maps are made available here for browsing and for downloading in two Geographic Information System formats (Note: Average map size is 45K; requires frames-capable browser and screen width of at least 832 pixels).

Integrated coastal area management and agriculture, forestry & fisheries

Posted October 1998. Based on newly published FAO guidelines. In the near future, population pressure and intensifying economic activity will add to overexploitation of coastal resources and the degradation of many coastal habitats. Integrated coastal area management (or ICAM) offers a means of balancing the competing demands of different users of coastal resources and optimizing the benefits.

Geographic Information Systems in sustainable development

Posted March 1998. Most sustainable development decisions require trade-offs between the often conflicting goals of different sectors. GIS technology helps cross-sectoral communication by not only providing very powerful tools for analysing multisectoral data, but also by integrating databases of different sectors in the same system. The Special provides a general introduction to GIS, explores some of its most common applications (in agriculture, forestry, fisheries), and supplies a page of links to digital datasets available worldwide. Note: For frames-capable browsers only.

Biodiversity for food and agriculture

Posted February 1998. Presents key chapters from "Human Nature", an independent study prepared for FAO by the Rural Advancement Foundation International. Until recently, agriculture and nature conservation were often seen as being in opposition. Today, there is growing recognition that food security and the conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biological diversity are inextricably linked. The Special covers biodiversity in crops, plants, farm animals, forests, fish and aquatic life, and soil.

Global Climate Maps

Posted October 1997. We present 53 global climate maps prepared by FAO's Agrometeorology Group, which is making the the original georeferenced maps - plus image analysis software - available for free download. The Group "gridded" IIASA climate data to create colour-keyed maps of global temperature, rainfall and sunshine fraction patterns. Derived products include a map of Koeppen's climate classification and estimates of biomass potential. The presentation requires a frames-capablebrowser and a screen width of at least 832 pixels. Users with smaller screens who wish to download the georeferenced maps and software should proceed directly to our downloading instructions.

Earth Summit +5

Posted June 1997. The UN General Assembly met in a Special Session from 23 to 27 June to assess progress in implementation of Agenda 21, the programme adopted by the 1992 Earth Summit. We publish a series of eight FAO progress reports on key Agenda 21 Chapters and broader areas of concern, including: planning and management of land resources, combating deforestation, combating desertification and drought, sustainable mountain development, sustainable agriculture and rural development, conservation of biological diversity, climate change and sustainable energy.

Agrometeorological crop forecasting

Posted December 1996. FAO agrometeorologists have helped develop a crop forecasting methodology that is an integral part of national systems for detecting harvest shortfalls in many developing countries. This special presentation uses satellite imagery, graphs and charts to illustrate the "agromet" approach: the information and data required, FAO's model for simulating plant-weather-soil interactions, and outputs such as crop condition and yield maps. Recommended for advanced browsers with fast connections.

SD Homepage Back to Top FAO Homepage