GAEZ - Global Agro-Ecological Zones

GAEZ – Assessing our world’s natural resources potentials

GAEZ Programme:  A global assessment to support strategy, management, planning, rational use and sustainable development addressing food security – facilitating access to data, information and knowledge


FAO’s Agro-Ecological Zoning (AEZ) methodology is the primary tool used for land resources assessment. It is based on the FAO Framework for Land Evaluation which has been in use since 1978 for assessing agricultural production potential and production capacity, actual and potential yields and yield gaps. The agro-ecological zones are defined as homogenous and contiguous areas with similar soil, land and climate characteristics.

FAO in partnership with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) has released the latest version (3.0) of GAEZ database and data portal in May 2012.



The overall objective is to develop the GAEZ modeling framework for crop potential assessment using detailed agronomic-based knowledge to assess land suitability, potential attainable yields and potential production of crops for specified management assumptions and input levels, both for rain-fed and irrigated conditions.

GAEZ programme aims at developing global assessments on the world's agriculture and natural resources potentials to support strategy, management,  planning, rational use and sustainable development goals addressing food security – facilitating access to data, information and knowledge to Members.



GAEZ provides reliable information and knowledge on sustainable management of natural resources for food and agriculture to Members to support policy decisions on food and agriculture at national, regional and global level.

The data portal products include thousands of standardized spatial and tabular information and data compiled from recent global environmental datasets that characterizes the requirements for the assessments of land productivity for location-specific agro-ecological conditions, with complete data model documentation, user’s manuals, and metadata for free public access to Members, international organizations, NGOs and research community and academia.

GAEZ outputs enables the evaluation and assessment of world's agricultural resources and potential, becoming a fundamental tool for land use planning and management and sustainable development addressing food security. These outputs will also be utilized for FAO’s perspective analysis and offer policy options within the context of international conventions and agreements on various areas of interest e.g. natural resources monitoring and management, climate change, biodiversity and land degradation.

The GAEZ data portal will be maintained through the establishment of the GAEZ global partnership with engagement and involvement of key stakeholders and players contributing to common development goals.



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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