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A framework for monitoring geospatial indicators of the Resilience of Organizations for Transformative Smallholder Agriculture project








Trawally, D., Baldassarre, G., Touray, O., Darboe, L.S., Gassama, B., Saidy, B., Sawaneh, A., Saidy, K.B., Trawally, F., Sanyang, D., Mendy, E.,Jagne, M.A., Ceesay, M., Henry, M. 2024. A framework for monitoring geospatial indicators of the Resilience of Organizations for TransformativeSmallholder Agriculture (ROOTS) project. Rome, FAO.



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    In February 2023, a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 7.7 struck northern and western Syria, wreaking havoc on infrastructure, agriculture, and communities. A swift geospatial impact assessment was performed in the hardest-hit region, utilizing satellite imagery, remote sensing, and diverse data sources. By employing the Humanitarian Data Exchange (HDX) and a hexagonal grid system for enhanced analysis, the study meticulously evaluated the earthquake's effects on people, infrastructure, and cropland. The assessment revealed that approximately 942,262 individuals, constituting 7% of the population, were likely impacted by the disaster. Particularly affected were districts like Elbistan, Battalgazi, Yesilyurt, Pozanti, and Golbasi. The research identified 110 km² of damaged built-up areas, with Jebel Saman, Al Ma'ra, Menbij, Al Bab, and A'zaz among the most affected districts. Moreover, irrigated cropland in districts such as Afrin, Ain Al Arab, A’zaz, As-Salamiyeh, and Al Ma’ra suffered considerable exposure. Notably, the study highlighted the dire effects on irrigation infrastructures, particularly wells in districts like Tartous, Lattakia, and As-Salamiyeh, waterways in As-Suqaylabiyah and Jisr-Ash-Shugur, and dams in Bahlolieh, Mzair'a, and Safita. The assessment’s findings underscore the need for field data collection, agronomic advice, and robust response planning. Looking ahead, enhancing spatial information for assessing natural resources, irrigation infrastructure, and agriculture, through methods like high-resolution satellite imagery and accuracy assessment, could yield significant benefits. The assessment's results also emphasize the importance of establishing a national geospatial database and monitoring platform for irrigated land, thereby fostering more effective disaster preparedness and response strategies.
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    Land cover and land use information is a vital source of information for governments, agencies and institutions of a country to make informed decisions, promote sustainable development, protect the environment, food security biodiversity conservation, climate change and ensure the well-being of their citizens. It plays a critical role in shaping policies and actions that align with long-term sustainability goals. The Government of the Gambia has committed to a stronger agricultural performance since the democratic transition and has asked International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to co-finance the Resilience of Organizations for Transformative Smallholder Agriculture Project (ROOTS). In addition, the Government has stressed the need to capitalize on the gains of the closed IFAD-funded National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development (NEMA) program. The Food and Agricultural Organization of United Nations (FAO) has been providing technical support to many countries through various geospatial and remote sensing activities related to land and water monitoring, agricultural productivity and food security, agricultural information and statistics services. With this backdrop, IFAD approached FAO requesting potential technical support to the ROOTS project in support to component 1 (with specific focus on infrastructure development and management for resilient rice cultivation, vegetable cultivation, agroforestry and mangrove restoration).
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    Land cover and land use information is a vital information for governments, agencies and institutions of a country to make informed decisions, promote sustainable development, protect the environment, food security biodiversity conservation, climate change and ensure the well-being of their citizens. It plays a critical role in shaping policies and actions that align with long-term sustainability goals. Technological advancements have significantly heightened the value of land cover (LC) information. However, this progress has also widened the user base, posing challenges for harmonization and uniform utilization. The constant generation of new LC data and diverse classification schemes has led to inconsistencies, hindered interoperability, and limited practical application due to traditional vague classifications. Hence, there is a critical necessity to create reliable, standardized LC data and legends using geospatial tools and applications. This approach is crucial to effectively address global, regional, and national environmental monitoring needs and challenges. The Food and Agriculture of the United Nations (FAO) is involved in developing and enhancing all aspects of land cover and its applications. FAO offers land cover services at global, regional, and national levels following international standards and using the latest state of art technology innovation. This includes land cover legend registry, land cover ontology and classification systems, essential to consistency across systems and disciplinesfor sharing; development of methodologies for operational rapid assessment of land cover and its changes at national, regional and global scale; and helping member countries to meet their need for up-to-date, consistent and detailed land cover and land use information. FAO Tunisia is working closely with the national partners to ensure the sustainability of the system to support ongoing projects.

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