Geospatial information for sustainable food systems

FAO launches the Global Agro-Ecological Zoning platform version 4 (GAEZ v4), 17 June 2021, 15:00-16:30 CEST

As the world population is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050, more efforts and innovations are needed in order to sustainably increase agricultural production, improve the global supply chain, decrease food losses and waste, and ensure that all who are suffering from hunger and malnutrition have access to nutritious food. 

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), has developed the Agro-Ecological Zones (AEZ) methodological approach over several decades for assessing agricultural resources and potential. The AEZ framework principles and outputs contribute directly to a number of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). 

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development puts a strong emphasis on the integrated approach to achieving SDGs that can harness synergies and minimize potential trade-offs. Land plays an important part in accelerating the achievement of many SDGs.

Rapid developments in information technology have produced increasingly detailed and manifold global databases, which made the first global AEZ assessment possible in 2000. Since then, Global AEZ assessments have been performed every few years. 

This new version of the Global Agro-Ecological Zones (GAEZ v4) database provides the agronomic backbone for various applications including the quantification of land productivity as well as several key information for agricultural and rural investment.

This webinar launches the new Global Agro-Ecological Zones platform version 4 (GAEZ v4), and demonstrates the functionality of the platform in the context of sustainable development. The GAEZ v4 Model Documentation and User’s Manual will be presented as well as User Cases. 

The launch of GAEZ v4 is part of the process of developing an open GAEZ v5 platform, in collaboration with various national, regional and international collaborators, building interoperability between agriculture-related platforms, through the FAO Hand-in-Hand Initiative, and international and national efforts to mainstream sustainable agriculture into development agendas.

Click here to register for the Webinar 

Visit the GAEZ v4 platform



Convening of meeting and presentation of agenda 

Douglas Muchoney, Head of Geospatial Unit, Land and Water Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 


Opening remarks 

Eduardo Mansur, Director, Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment (OCB), FAO


Albert van Jaarsveld, Director General, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

Jack Dangermond, President, Environmental System Research Institute (ESRI)


Introductory address 

Sasha Koo-Oshima, Deputy Director, Land and Water Division (NSL), FAO

Dejan Jakovljevic, Director, Information Technology Services Division (CSI), FAO


Video: Global Agro-Ecological Zoning: methodological approach and key findings 


The Global Agro-Ecological Zoning Platform version 4 

Sam Libby, Non-profit Practice Lead, ESRI 


National Agro-Ecological Zoning in Lao PDR 

Saysongkham Sayavong, Head of the GIS Unit at the Department of Agricultural Land Management (DALaM), Minister of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), Lao People's Democratic Republic


National Agro-Ecological Zoning in Angola 

Giza Martins, Director, National Directorate for Environment and Climate Action (DNAAC), Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Environment (MCTA), Angola 


National Agro-Ecological Zoning in Bangladesh 

Bidhan Kumar Bhander, Director General, Soil Resource Development Institute (SRDI), Bangladesh 


Agro-ecological zoning and agricultural investment 

Jyotsna Puri, Director, Environment, Climate, Gender and Social inclusion Division, Strategy and Knowledge Department, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Winston YU, Senior Water Resources Management Specialist, World Bank 


The FAO Hand-in-Hand Initiative

Maximo Torero Cullen, Chief Economist, FAO 


Future perspectives and closing 

Douglas Muchoney, Head of Geospatial Unit, Land and Water Division, FAO