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About Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture


Earth observations combined with other data contribute to crop monitoring to counter food insecurity, a commitment upheld by all states under Sustainable Development Goal 2, zero hunger.


GEO will advocate the value of Earth observations, engage communities and deliver data and information in support of Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture by underpinning development, management and forecasting of global food and agricultural production on land and in the water; in order to end hunger, achieve food security (including monitoring for quality, safety and correct identification) and promote sustainable agriculture adapted to climate change impacts through strengthening food production monitoring and early warning systems, and providing accurate, timely information on agricultural production status, outlook and forecasts.

Summary description of 2016 Plans

For 2016, GEO will be mainly addressing monitoring and forecasting for agriculture and fisheries.

In particular, the GEOGLAM, adopted by the G-20 in 2011, is an initiative aimed at providing transparent, timely and actionable information on crop prospects through the use of earth observations (EO). Its plans for 2016 are the following:

  • Continue the GEOGLAM Crop Monitor, an operational activity, which is successfully providing AMIS with a monthly international consensus report on crop conditions in the G20+ countries, highlighting areas of concern for the four main grains (wheat, rice, maize, soybeans).
  • Expand and cover more countries and more crops and develop an Early Warning Crop Monitor addressing Countries at risk, with crops such as millets and sorghums,
  • Continue the development of the global rangeland monitor RAPP (Rangelands And Pasture Productivity), monitoring regions of the world where livestock is an important if not dominant activity
  • Continue working with WMO Commission on Agricultural Meteorology and WWRP-WCRP S2S research project to develop activities dealing with the use of short term weather forecast for crop production forecasting.

About Agriculture

Food supplies depend on trends in the natural environment, including weather and climate, freshwater supplies, soil moisture and other variables.

At the same time, agriculture has a major impact on the environment. Unless they are sustainably managed, farms and pastures can cause erosion, desertification, chemicals pollution and water shortages. Similarly, fishing can deplete fish stocks and damage coastal ecosystems. These risks need to be monitored and managed.

The Group on Earth Observations is constructing the Global Earth Observation System of Systems to help farmers, fishers and policymakers maximize productivity and food security while preserving ecosystems and biodiversity.

GEO also aims to support the sustainable management of agriculture by disseminating weather forecasts, early warnings of storms and other extreme events, water pollution, long-term forecasts of likely climate change impacts, and information on water supplies.

These and other data are being integrated so that they can be used in models for simulating and predicting agricultural trends. Related activities include mapping the changing distribution of croplands around the world, advancing the accuracy of measurements of biomass (the total amount of living material in a given habitat or population), reporting agricultural statistics in a more timely manner, and improving forecasts of shortfalls in crop production and food supplies.


Related Work Programmme Activities


GEO Flagships

GEO Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM)

Global Forest Observation Initiative (GFOI)


GEO Initiatives

GEO Global Water Sustainability (GEOGLOWS)

Global Drought Information System (GDIS)


Community Activities

African Geochemical Baselines

Earth Observations for Geohazards, Land Degradation and Environmental Monitoring

Earth Observations for the Water-Energy-Food (W-E-F) Nexus


Global Agricultural Drought Monitoring

Global Ecosystems and Environment Observation Analysis Report Cooperation (GEOARC)

Land Cover and Land Cover Change

Cross Cutting Activities


GEO Initiatives

AfriGEOSS: Reinforcing Regional African Engagement


Asia-Oceania GEOSS (AOGEOSS)

Earth Observations in Service of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development


GEO Carbon and GHG Initiative


Oceans and Society: Blue Planet


Community Activities

Access to climate data in GEOSS

Advancing Communication Networks

Citizen Observatories and Crowdsourcing

Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS)

Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S)

Data Analysis and Integration System (DIAS)


GFCS - GEO Collaboration

Himalayan GEOSS

Research Data Science Summer Schools

Socio-Economic Benefits of Earth Observations

Space and Security

Synergized Multi-Source Remote Sensing Products and Services

Contact person in the GEO Secretariat

Secretariat Expert: Ian Jarvis -