Geospatial data for sustainable development: FAO's work on land degradation

April 11, 2023

On April 6, GeoHub project hosted an OSUN-wide session with the representatives of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), which introduced some of the projects that the FAO is implementing using the Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform. Almost 60 participants across the OSUN network and beyond registered for the event.

FAO’s experts, Ingrid Teich and Cesar Garcia, presented current activities of the organization in the field of application of geospatial data and technologies, the importance of this tool in the decision-making process, as well as for monitoring impacts. The presentation focused on the FAO’s recent efforts in the field of land degradation neutrality (LDN) in Europe and Central Asia, specifically addressing the topic of mapping land degradation and SDG 15.3.1 indicator.

The final part of the session was conducted as a live demo, giving participants a chance to see the cloud computing possibilities of the GEE. The FAO team also introduced a dedicated regional interactive application on land degradation neutrality status, which was developed using GEE tools and services.

The session concluded by highlighting potential opportunities for OSUN students to participate and support FAO’s work in this domain.

Google Earth Engine (GEE) is a cloud-based platform, which provides access to multiple repositories of satellite imagery and geospatial datasets allowing quick and accurate analysis and visualization of large datasets available in the cloud. The GEE platform provides an agile tool for data analysis as well as the data catalog. The data catalog consists of different free geospatial data, including satellite imageries (optical and radar), information about climate (temperature, precipitation, etc), relief (digital elevation models), land cover maps, and a variety of socio-economic variables.