FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

FAO launched with its national partners the Libya Land Cover Reference System to support Crop Water Productivity in Libya

Tripoli, 13 March 2023: The third national workshop, currently taking place in Tripoli, is part of the capacity-building programme developed within the framework of FAO's two complementary projects:  “Monitoring, evaluation and rationalization of water use for agriculture sector in Libya” funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and “Evaluation of irrigation infrastructure, crop mapping and estimation of agricultural water use in Libya” funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB). 

During the opening session, Mr. Philippe Ankers, FAO Representative for Libya a.i said: “there is no doubt that land degradation and water scarcity are affecting and will affect agriculture sector and all dimensions of food security, such as food availability, food accessibility, food utilization and food systems stability. Therefore, it is important to highlight that over the last decade; FAO has dedicated considerable attention to land degradation and water scarcity and taken a wide range of initiatives and activities to enhance capacities for the adoption of land cover mapping and water scarcity coping mechanisms. Among them FAO/ISO standard on land cover classification and the Regional Water Scarcity Initiative launched in 2013 that are the umbrella of the two FAO projects. 

Ms. Hanan Aghel, Director of international cooperation office representing the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, recognized the importance of this workshop being organized by FAO in collaboration with the two Ministries: Agriculture and Livestock and Water Resources. She underlined the importance of the expected Libya Land Cover Reference System that is being developed by FAO to support the crop water productivity in Libya. She also re-emphasized their commitment to work collectively and finalize the Libya Land Cover Reference System towards the improvement of crop water productivity in Libya water use in agricultural sector in Libya.

In his statement, Mohamed Ali khalifa Hamila, Director of Information Technology Department and Representative of the Ministry of Water Resources welcomed the initiative of the use of FAO tools, standards and approaches for land cover and crop-type mapping that will improve crop water productivity in Libya. He congratulated the organization back-to-back event after this workshop of the training session on the same subject during 14 to 16 March 2023. This session will be organized for 26 participants to support the fieldwork preparation activity that includes stocktaking of background information, sampling design, manuals and forms preparation, software customization and how to process the data for crop type mapping.

Around 60 participants representing the national partners approved the methodological approach applied for land cover classes and legend and the elaborated draft Libya Land Cover Reference System. The consultation will continue during the upcoming 15 days to finalize this document.