Global Forest Resources Assessments

New e-Learning course: Using land-cover information to monitor progress on Sustainable Development Goal 15

©Anders Jildén

21 March 2024 – To mark the International Day of Forests, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is pleased to launch the e-learning course “Using land-cover information to monitor progress on Sustainable Development Goal 15”. Currently available in English, this course has been designed and developed by FAO in collaboration with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the Group on Earth Observation and Land Degradation Neutrality (GEO-LDN), in cooperation with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

This online course aims to provide a basic understanding of land-cover data and its use for monitoring progress towards the achievement of internationally agreed goals, with a practical focus on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators 15.3.1 (Proportion of land that is degraded over total land area) and 15.4.2 (Mountain Green Cover Index and Proportion of Degraded Mountain Land).

“Land cover and land use changes have an important effect on the environment” said Xavier de Lamo, FAO Forestry Officer. “Proper insights to use the right land cover data in the right way are required to monitor these changes and assess its impact on the achievement of internationally agreed objectives, such as Sustainable Development Goal 15.”

Split into five lessons of approximately 35 minutes each, the course is structured as follows: 

  1. “Introduction to land cover and land-cover data”;
  2. “Use of land cover for reporting using international standards”;
  3. “Land-cover change as an indicator of land degradation”;
  4. “Computing and reporting on SDG indicator 15.3.1”; and
  5. “Computing and reporting on SDG indicator 15.4.2”.

This course is self-paced and accessible to all interested parties through the FAO elearning Academy, free of charge. To ensure content accuracy, quality and coherence, it has been peer reviewed by a wide range of experts. Participants who pass the final exam upon completion of the course will receive a digital badge certifying their acquired skill. 

Professionals in the field of monitoring and reporting on SDG indicators, as well as the sustainable management of natural resources, are invited to enroll today. To earn your badge, please click here.