GAEZ - Global Agro-Ecological Zones

GAEZ applications

AEZ methodology provides comprehensive information for rational land use planning and decision making for food security and agricultural development. The Global Agro-Ecological Zoning (GAEZ) based on the AEZ methodology creates information products to assists with rational land-use planning on the basis of an inventory of land resources and evaluation of the biophysical limitations and production potentials of land. GAEZ uses the land resources inventory to assess, for specified management conditions and levels of inputs, all feasible agricultural land-use options and to quantify anticipated production of cropping activities relevant in the specific agro-ecological context. It follows an environmental approach, providing a standardized framework for the characterization of climate, soil, and terrain conditions for analyzing synergies and trade-offs of alternative uses of agro-resources (land, water, technology) for food and energy production, while preserving environmental quality.

GAEZ applications include:

  • Quantification of land productivity;
  • Estimations of rain-fed or irrigated cultivation potential for food, feed, fiber, and bio-energy feedstock production;
  • Identification of environmental constraints to agricultural production; and
  • Identification of potential hot spots of agricultural conversion and possible geographical shifts in agricultural land potentials due to changing climate.

AEZ modeling framework is used in a number of activities and initiatives including creation of land resources inventories, potential production capacities of various land use, preparation of land use planning on the basis of the inventories of land resources and evaluation of biophysical limitations and production potentials of land, water and natural resources.

AEZ assessments are used in a wide range of applications at global, regional and national levels, including:




Rice terraces. Indonesia. ©FAO/Roberto Faidutti / FAO
Dominant land cover pattern. GAEZ. ©FAO/IIASA
Input supply to vulnerable populations under the ISFP. Kenya. ©FAO/Sarah Elliott / FAO
Thermal zones. GAEZ. ©FAO/IIASA
Close up of apples, limes, oranges and tomatoes on sale at a local market in Nepal. ©FAO/Giampiero Diana / FAO
Aggregate crop yield in 2000. GAEZ. ©FAO/IIASA
Harvesting rice in east Java. Indonesia. H. Null / FAO
Dominant land cover pattern. GAEZ. ©FAO/IIASA
Flood recession rice fields. Cambodia. ©FAO/ Giuseppe Bizzarri/ FAO
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