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Land Cover Characteristics and Change

The Land Cover Characteristics and Change theme promotes the use and refinement of land cover data and information products for resource managers, policy makers, and scientists studying the global carbon cycle and biodiversity loss.

GOFC-GOLD has proposed a systematic program for coarse resolution (250 1000 m) land cover mapping on a five-year cycle, combined with periodic mapping and monitoring of forested areas at fine resolution (~25 m). Activities of the land cover program include:

  • Availability of observations
  • Harmonization, interoperability and synergy
  • Validation
  • Adequacy and advocacy of products
  • Regional networks and capacity building
  • Shared data, information and knowledge
  • Land change assessment

The GOFC-GOLD Land Cover Implementation Team is an international forum for identifying and developing consistent land cover data and information to support global change science and applications. The Team is establishing observatories that are capable of assuring continuous data acquisition and processing that is of sufficient quantity and quality for global and regional evaluations of land cover characteristics. The Team works with the GOFC-GOLD Regional Networks to secure acquisition of local land cover data, user interaction, and regional incubators for implementation of mapping standards and data access.

The Land Cover Team is co led by Curtis Woodcock of Boston University, USA, and by Martin Herold of Wageningen University, Netherlands. The GOFC-GOLD Land Cover Team project office is located in the Netherlands at Wageningen University and is coordinated by Brice Mora.

Detailed information on the Land Cover Team's activities is located at:

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