Natural Resources
     and Environment

News, Publications & Announcements - Geo-Information

May 2003
Towards a GIS-based analysis of mountain environments and populations
Environment and Natural Resources Working paper no. 10

This report presents the results of work in progress. It applies Geographical Information System (GIS) techniques and newly available geo-referenced data to understand conditions underlying poverty and hunger in the world, with special reference to mountain environments and populations. Following the system developed by the United Nations Environment Programme - World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) in 2000 for classifying mountain areas, hilly as well as high mountain areas are covered by the analysis. New data about global population density from the LandScan 2000 map have made it possible to estimate population figures for each mountain area class, as well as for other parameters about agricultural land use, farming systems, environmental constraints, and yields per person that contribute to the estimation of the number of vulnerable mountain people.

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For related information, see the following theme pages: -Geo-Information  
May 2003
Terrestrial Carbon Observation: The Frascati report on in situ carbon data and information
Environment and Natural Resources Series No. 5

Data on the spatial and temporal distribution of carbon sources and sinks in the terrestrial biosphere are needed by both the scientific and the policy communities working on climate change issues. To gather the necessary data the Terrestrial Carbon Observation (TCO) initiative was launched in 1999 by the Integrated Global Observing Strategy Partnership (IGOS-P). It is a component of the Integrated Global Carbon Observations (IGCO) theme which also includes the ocean and atmosphere. The concept behind TCO is to focus on assembling and generating terrestrial carbon data using in situ (ground based) and satellite data in combination with a number of climate models in order to obtain a more accurate understanding of global stocks and fluxes.

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July 2002
Preparation of a land cover database through remote sensing and GIS - Pilot study in Bulgaria
Remote Sensing for Decision-Makers Series No. 21

Three large areas in different regions of Bulgaria were selected by the FAO Project TCP/BUL/8922 as representative of the agricultural production of the country. An operative methodology for the preparation from recent satellite data and land cover maps specially devised for agricultural applications, was tested and finalized. The most recent Landsat TM data, cloud-free and acquired over the test areas according to the crop calendar, were used.

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For related information, see the following theme pages: -Geo-Information  
May 2002
Preparation of land cover database of Bulgaria through remote sensing and GIS
Environment and Natural Resources Working Paper No. 6 FAO, Rome, 2001

Land cover maps constitute a necessary tool for development planning and management of the territory. Furthermore, land cover maps depicting the current reality are a must in countries where, due to political changes, rapid dynamic phenomena have taken place, resulting in a complete restructuring of the agricultural and other sectors, as in the case of Bulgaria. The scale of such maps should be large enough to provide detailed information, however it should allow for regional assessment, statistics and subsequent planning. The 1:50 000 scale is the most suited for this exercise.

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For related information, see the following theme pages: -Geo-Information  
May 2002
Bringing Africa data to the desktop: the ARTEMIS Charting Applet

The ARTEMIS system of the FAO Environment and Natural Resources Service (SDRN) routinely processes and disseminates data from a number of satellites. This concerns low-resolution images from the METEOSAT, NOAA and SPOT satellites that give an indication of rainfall conditions or vegetation development. The main use is in the field of early warning for food security. By analyzing a sequence of images, which are available at 10-daily and monthly intervals, the status and progress of the crop growing season can be monitored over very large areas, as done routinely by the country analysts of the FAO Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS). A number of software tools have been developed over the years to assist in the analysis.

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