World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN Agency Launches First-Ever Database on Global Land Use

UN Agency Launches First-Ever Database on Global Land Use

New York, Mar 17 2014 - The United Nations agricultural agency today launched a new database which gathers under one roof previously scattered information about land cover – how much land is covered by croplands, trees, forests, or bare soils – crucial to establishing a good global understanding of the physical characteristics of the Earth’s surface.

"A strong understanding of our planet's land cover is essential to promoting sustainable land resources management - including agricultural production to feed a growing population - that makes efficient use of increasingly scarce natural resources yet safeguards the environment," said John Latham of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which spearheaded the project.

The Global Land Cover SHARE database (GLC-SHARE) initiative represents a major and historic improvement: up until now, such data was collected by different countries and organizations which identified, measured and recorded information in diverse, uneven ways.

GLC-SHARE pulled together all that data and submitted it to a thorough quality-control, harmonizing process, using internationally accepted definitions and standards, thereby bringing a wealth of country-level information into one consolidated dataset spanning the entire planet.

Applications of the new GLC-share database include monitoring of global land cover trends, evaluating the suitability of land for various uses, assessing the impact of climate change on food production, and land-use planning.

"This update to our understanding of the Earth's land cover comes at a crucial time," Mr. Latham added. "It will be a valuable tool in assessing the sustainability of agriculture, and for supporting evidence based-sustainable rural development and land use policy contributing to reducing poverty, enabling of inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems and increasing resilience of livelihoods. GLC-SHARE will also help us understand how climate change and climate variability are impacting key natural resources, as well as food production."

FAO's new database reveals the breakdown of eleven global land cover layers: tree-covered areas (27.7 percent), bare soils (15.2 percent), grasslands (13.0 percent), croplands (12.6 percent), snow and glaciers (9.7 percent), shrub-covered areas (9.5 percent), sparse vegetation (7.7 percent), inland water bodies (2.6 percent), herbaceous vegetation (1.3 percent), artificial surfaces (0.6 percent), and mangroves (0.1 percent).

The agency stresses that a surging global population and growing demand for food pose major challenges for agriculture, which in the years to come, will need to produce more food using fewer natural resources while at the same time coping with a changing climate. FAO estimates furthermore that world food production will need to increase by 60 percent by 2050, for the most part, on lands that are already being cultivated.

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

'Very Concerned' After Court Ruling: UNHRC On Transfer Of 267 People From Australia To Nauru

Most of these people were reportedly brought to Australia from Nauru to receive medical treatment and are in a fragile physical and mental state. The group includes more than 12 women and at least one child who have allegedly suffered sexual assault or harassment while in Nauru. The group also includes 37 children born in Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Sanctions To Be Lifted: NZ Welcomes Implementation Of Iran Nuclear Deal

Duty Minister Nikki Kaye has welcomed the next stage in the historic nuclear deal between Iran, the Five Permanent (P5) members of the United Nations Security Council, and Germany... “New Zealand has now started the domestic process for removing the UN sanctions." More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Davos Reports: 62 People Own Same Wealth As Half The World

Runaway inequality has created a world where 62 people own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population – a figure that has fallen from 388 just five years ago, according to an Oxfam report published today ahead of the annual gathering of the world’s financial and political elites in Davos.. More>>

ALSO:

Jakarta: UN Secretary-General On Attacks

The Secretary-General condemns the bombings and gun attacks in Jakarta today... there is absolutely no justification for such acts of terrorism. He hopes the perpetrators of today's attacks will be swiftly brought to justice. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: America, The Gated

How, in a global metropolis like New York, do you write about immigration as a problem to be solved? And yet immigration is a hot button issue among those fighting to break away from the unruly clump of starters in the race for Republican nominee. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news