GEO guidance offers Earth observation solutions to food security challenges
At GEO Week 2022 in Ghana, Accra, GEO launched new guidance to advise countries on how to use Earth observations (EO) to tackle agriculture and food security-related challenges, as part of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) to climate change. The guidance will be also presented to the UN Climate Change Conference COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, in collaboration with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG).
Advances in open data access, cloud computing and free access to analytical tools have opened up opportunities for using EO solutions for NAPs. But adoption still lags in low- and middle-income countries. The first edition of the GEO supplementary technical guidelines on NAPs provides practical guidance on implementing EO as part of countries’ adaptation agendas, based on the experience of the GEO Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) initiative.
GEOGLAM has extensive experience in collaborating with governments to co-create solutions to food security challenges — protecting livelihoods and reducing costs for governments. The initiative has successfully co-designed national crop monitoring systems that provide early warnings and trigger disaster risk financing mechanisms, efficiently tackling adaptation and loss and damage with EO methodologies and data embedded in institutional systems in some Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
While the guidance builds on the 2012 technical guidelines by the LEG for the formulation of NAPs, the GEO supplementary technical guidelines focus on the technical and institutional resources required for the successful implementation of NAPs.
To implement these guidelines, GEO continues to support countries’ climate adaptation agendas by co-developing monitoring systems for early warning and early action, based on EO, innovative technology, and public-private partnerships.
The target audience for the GEO supplementary technical guidelines on NAPs includes government agencies responsible for agriculture production, planning, statistics, and emergency response, such as ministries of agriculture, environment and public safety. The guidelines can also support international organizations and NGOs in their response to emerging food security concerns.
This first edition will be followed by other sectoral guidelines addressing key issues or themes in the NAP process with the use of EO, based on other key GEO initiatives.
This work has been made possible through dedicated funding contributions from the United Kingdom’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.