Información geoespacial para lograr sistemas alimentarios sostenibles

Exploring new frontiers for terrestrial observation and monitoring, from land assessment to agro-ecological zoning

19/05/2020 - 21/05/2020

Billions of hectares of land have already been degraded, and an additional 12 million hectares of agricultural land are likely to become unusable for food production every year. Earth Observation in support to sustainable land management has never been as topical as now. 

For the last decades, FAO has been supporting countries in monitoring natural resources considering evolving challenges related to sustainable land management and the numerous and increasing environmental crises affecting people worldwide.

The scientific and research community’s contribution in developing integrated approaches, considering the revolution in remote sensing, freely available/accessible Earth Observation information, geographic information system and Information Communication Technologies, has a lot to offer, and FAO and other international agencies are willing to help maximising the use of scientific progress in contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals. 

From 19 to 21 May 2020, FAO organised an online consultation on exploring new frontiers for terrestrial observation and monitoring, from land assessment to agro-ecological zoning. Involving 250 participants from 123 international, regional and national organisations, this consultation was an opportunity to share experience and knowledge on recent technical progresses and use of information in support to global, regional, national and local contexts. 

The consultation was made possible through the support of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), NASA-SERVIR, Group on Earth Observations (GEO), World Meteorological Organization/Global Climate Observing System (WMO/GCOS), Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), European Space Agency (ESA), RADI, The Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), University of Southampton, Terrestrial Observation Panel for Climate (TOPC), Global Observations of Forest Cover and Land-use Dynamics (GOFC-GOLD), ESRI, and technical support from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Sasha KooOshima, Deputy Director of Land and Water Division, highlighted the critical need to have a robust geospatial baseline environmental information in support to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). FAO recognizes that eradicating hunger and poverty is one of the greatest global challenges and transformative, inclusive and a multi-sectoral approach to sustainable food systems requires the digital transformation in which all the countries and stakeholders need to act together in a coherent way to implement in the global plan of SDGs and that no one is left behind. 

Through this consultation, FAO engaged key partners in developing collaborative efforts to revitalize the Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS), Global Land Cover database (GLC-SHARE) and the Global Agro-Ecological Zoning (GAEZ) and to gather opinions and experience from the various stakeholders related in these types of programs. Through this consultation, the various stakeholders involved in Earth Observation, land cover monitoring and agroecological zoning, recognised the critical needs for re-activation of these platforms, further consultations, documentation of experiences and knowledge sharing.