GEO Partnership Launches LDN Initiative to Link Global and Local Data for SDG Monitoring
Photo courtesy of Graciela Metternicht
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The GEO LDN initiative emerged from a call by the UNCCD COP 13 to bring data providers and users together and support global efforts to halt, reduce, and reverse land degradation.

Following the announcement, Germany pledged an initial contribution of €100,000.

13 November 2018: An initiative launched during the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Week 2018 aims to bring together earth observation data providers and governments to develop quality standards, analytical tools and capacity needed to strengthen land degradation neutrality (LDN) monitoring and reporting.

The GEO LDN initiative emerged from to a call by the 13th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), to bring data providers and users together and support global efforts to halt, reduce, and reverse land degradation. By providing access to earth observation datasets and practical user tools, the initiative seeks to provide immediate and actionable information to scale up sustainable land management and planning.

The initiative will focus on a minimum set of common variables, leaving countries with the flexibility to adopt additional indicators as needed.

The initiative also seeks to address the lack of uniform indicators for land degradation at the local and national level, with a 2009 a global survey finding that nearly 1,500 unique indicators were in use. The GEO LDN platform will focus on a minimum set of common variables, leaving countries with the flexibility to adopt additional indicators as needed.

Three Working Groups were established to kick-start implementation of the initiative, focusing respectively on: building national capacities; developing data quality standards and protocols for SDG indicator 15.3.1 (“proportion of land that is degraded over total land area”) and its sub-indicators; and establishing platforms with high computing capacities so partners can collaborate on big data analytics, such as open data cubes.

Following the announcement, Germany pledged an initial contribution of €100,000 for the initiative.

GEO is a partnership of more than 100 governments and over 100 organizations that “envisions a future where decisions and actions for the benefit of humankind are informed by coordinated, comprehensive and sustained earth observations.” GEO Week 2018 took place from 29 October to 2 November 2018 in Kyoto, Japan. [UNCCD Press Release] [Land Portal Press Release] [GEO Week 2018 Website] [GEO Website]

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