Trends.Earth: An Open Spatial Data Tool to Support Country Reporting Needs for SDGs 11 and 15
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NASA’s Applied Remote Sensing Training program will host a webinar series highlighting a tool that uses NASA Earth observations to track land degradation and urban development that meet the appropriate SDG targets.

The webinar series focuses on the tool’s contribution to SDG implementation, particularly SDGs 11 and 15.

The SDGs are an urgent call for action by countries to preserve our oceans and forests, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth. The land management SDGs call for consistent tracking of land cover metrics. These metrics include productivity, land cover, soil carbon, urban expansion, and more. NASA’s Applied Remote Sensing Training program (ARSET) will host a webinar series highlighting a tool that uses National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Earth observations to track land degradation and urban development that meet the appropriate SDG targets.

SDGs 11 and 15 seek to promote sustainable urbanization and land use, respectively. SDG 11 aims to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.” SDG 15 aims to “combat desertification, drought, and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation neutral world.” To assess progress towards these Goals, indicators have been established, many of which can incorporate remote sensing.

Earth observations show great potential to assist countries in achieving the SDGs. Conservation International (CI), the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and UN Habitat created a tool to meet countries’ SDG reporting needs. This tool, Trends.Earth, is the topic of an upcoming open, online training on ‘Remote Sensing for Monitoring Land Degradation and Sustainable Cities SDGs.’ Hosted by NASA ARSET, the webinar series focuses on the tool’s contribution to SDG implementation. ARSET and CI developed the webinar series for local, regional, state, federal, and international organizations interested in generating data for SDG reporting with satellite imagery. The webinar series will take place on Tuesdays, from 9-23 July 2019. Each part will be 1.5 hours long, and will include lectures, hands-on exercises, and time for questions and answers. The training content will be broadcast twice, once in English, and once in Spanish.

Attendees will learn to use Trends.Earth to produce maps and figures to support monitoring and reporting for SDG indicators 15.3.1 (“Proportion of land that is degraded over total land area”) and 11.3.1 (“Ratio of land consumption rate to population growth rate”).

In part 1, attendees will learn about the SDG framework and global agency coordination on SDG indicator 15.3.1. Lectures will cover net primary productivity and monitoring the metric with remote sensing data. Attendees will also learn to view and interpret the remote sensing data for SDG 15 using Trends.Earth. The webinar will include a guest speaker, Sasha Alexander, Policy Officer, UNCCD.

In part 2, the training will focus on land cover change, soil organic carbon, and monitoring those metrics with remote sensing. Pablo Ovalles, UNCCD Global Mechanism Consultant, will explain how he uses Trends.Earth to meet SDG 15 reporting requirements in the Dominican Republic.

To close out the series, in part 3, participants will learn about SDG indicator 11.3.1. This will include viewing and interpreting urban mapping with Trends.Earth. The webinar will also feature Dennis Mwaniki, Spatial Data Expert at the Global Urban Observatory, UN Habitat.

We hope all interested will join us for the webinar series. Visit the ARSET website to register and learn more about the training.

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The article was written by Brock Blevins, Training Coordinator, Science Systems & Applications, Inc. (SSAI)/NASA ARSET, and Elizabeth Hook, Outreach Coordinator, SSAI/NASA ARSET.

 

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