Геопространственная информация в поддержку устойчивых продовольственных систем

Launch of West African Land Cover Reference System publication

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Regional Center for Agrometeorology, Hydrology and Meteorology (AGRHYMET), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS ), the Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS) and SERVIR West Africa organized a virtual event for the launch of the new publication West African Land Cover Reference System (WALCRS) on July 26, 2022. 180 participants from 46 countries and 88 organizations, including regional, governmental, UN, private and academic, with a gender balance of 70% male and 30% female, attended the launch.

Land cover data is one of the fundamental themes of the United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management Initiative (UN-GGIM) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, to achieve these goals, various approaches to the use and integration of land cover data, used by organizations in West Africa, need to be strengthened.

In 2013, the West African Regional Conference on Land Cover and Land Implementation suggested the creation of a common framework. Improving land cover information using the latest innovations is becoming essential for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ecosystem restoration, combating climate change, disaster risk reduction, among others. As a result, the West African Land Cover Reference System (WALCRS) publication has been prepared and is the first regional land cover reference system of its kind. It serves as a basis for the development of national and/or regional information on land use.

The WALCRS is the result of a joint initiative to harmonize land cover monitoring among nations and regional and international organizations. The development of the publication follows the publication of the latest international land cover standard (ISO 19144-2). In addition to providing a solid foundation for the harmonization and integration of land cover information from West African nations and organizations, the publication will help connect land cover information from different sources and make them interoperable.

This system will also serve as a reference framework to support land cover monitoring for various national and/or regional efforts, such as monitoring of land, forests, crops, greenhouse gases, biodiversity and many more. Therefore, the use and implementation of this repository will contribute to the improvement of land cover monitoring at regional, national and local levels, and will ensure a solid and scientific approach for all partner organizations.

The launch of the publication is part of a wider effort in the region to develop a better land monitoring system and to build technical capacity and collaboration with various national, regional and international partners to integrate baseline data sustainable and reliable land and water in development programs.

This work was made possible thanks to the collaboration between FAO, ECOWAS, the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), AGRHYMET, OSS, SERVIR West Africa and its consortium partners and experts and by financial contributions from the Swedish International Council. Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Geospatial Unit of the Land and Water Division (NSL) of FAO.

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