Geospatial information for sustainable food systems

Launch of the publication “Geospatial applications in emergency impact assessment”

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is committed to supporting countries and communities in building resilience against natural hazards and human-made crises. With the launch of its publication, "Geospatial Applications in Emergency Impact Assessment”, the event, held on 14 May 2024 at FAO headquarters and online, drew the participation of over 150 experts, researchers, and practitioners interested in leveraging geospatial technologies for improved disaster impact assessment and response in the agricultural sector.

The publication highlights the increasing frequency and intensity of natural hazards and conflicts, and their devastating impact on agricultural livelihoods, particularly for vulnerable populations reliant on natural resources. Recognizing this critical challenge, the FAO emphasizes the power of geospatial technologies, such as satellite imagery and remote sensing, to improve disaster impact assessment and response analysis.

The event featured participation from key organizations like the World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER), United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), World Bank, Group on Earth Observations (GEO), and United Nations Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT). Experts from these organizations shared valuable insights and lessons learned using Earth observation data and tools in emergencies. Discussions focused on the challenges and opportunities associated with using these technologies for rapid and accurate disaster assessment.

The event concluded with a call to action. Stakeholders were urged to use the immense potential of geospatial technologies to:

  • Building stronger partnerships for knowledge sharing and capacity building.
  • Improving data management and sharing practices to ensure timely access to critical information.
  • Adopting robust institutional collaboration to promote homogenization, interoperability, and wider adoption of geospatial tools.
  • Addressing equity concerns and bridging the gap in access to these technologies for vulnerable communities.
  • Implementing integrated geospatial impact assessments for a more comprehensive understanding of disaster impacts.

By working together on these crucial initiatives, stakeholders can harness the immense potential of geospatial technologies to safeguard agricultural livelihoods, strengthen disaster preparedness, and build a more resilient future for communities worldwide.


The recording of the event is available on the FAO website here.