The main objective of GEOGLAM is to reinforce the international community's capacity to produce and disseminate relevant, timely and accurate forecasts of agricultural production at national, regional, and global scales by using Earth Observation data. This will be achieved by:
- enhancing national agricultural reporting systems, including through a geo-spatial education curriculum established to enable training of participants worldwide,
- establishing a sustained international network of agricultural monitoring and research organizations and practitioners; and,
- harmonizing the operational global agricultural monitoring systems based on both satellite and in situ observations, including through improved coordination of satellite observations.
GEOGLAM is a collaborative initiative with an inherently synthetic focus. It draws on the expert knowledge and experience of international agriculture experts from around the world, who focus on food production and food security and national, regional, and global scales. These different scales and themes of monitoring are reflected in the structure of GEOGLAM, which consists of 3 core components and 3 cross-cutting components carried out through a variety of projects around the world:
Through its activities, GEOGLAM addresses three different information needs and geographic foci:
- Global & Regional Monitoring Systems (Component #1), in support of global scale market transparency and stability. This component should build on the existing global and regional systems; This activity focuses on the main producers/exporters: the G20+7 and Spain countries currently covered by AMIS which represent 85-90% of the global production of the 4 major world commodities (Wheat, Maize, Rice, and Soybean);
- National Agricultural Monitoring Systems (Component #2) in support of national food security and agricultural policy. This activity covers any country which aims to monitor its own agricultural resources using EO. When facing inter-annual or geographic variability in production, EO-based methods can provide information and timely forecasts at national and subnational levels, which are necessary to manage import and export of food stocks.
- Monitoring of Countries at Risk for Food Insecurity (Component #3), in which early warnings of food supply shortages can greatly mitigate human suffering. This activity focusses on the most vulnerable countries, at risk of food insecurity - in particular due to drought - to provide timely early warning on general food shortages and famine but also detection of hot spots affecting the livelihood and food security of smallholder farmers (staple crops) or pastoralists (livestock and rangelands).
The three cross-cutting components (below) which facilitate the implementation of one another and of the three thematic components include:
- Coordination of Earth Observation (EO) Data (Component #4) (through collaboration with the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites, (CEOS)), including both acquiring and ensuring the continuity of appropriate data, and timely dissemination of data and information;
- Research & Development toward Operations (Component #5), which includes the testing and evaluation of new methodologies, data streams, and data access technologies, as well as the facilitation of methods and experience sharing across diverse agricultural landscapes and monitoring activities (JECAM);
- Development of Capacity for EO-based Methods (Component #6), for agricultural monitoring at national, regional, and global scales, and in both industrialized and underdeveloped nations.
The GEOGLAM Secretariat has been established within the Group on Earth Observations, hosted by the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. GEOGLAM has established linkages with a number of key global programs and initiatives, including CEOS (to assist with implementing Component #4), and AMIS (to which GEOGLAM provides the Crop Monitor; Component #1), among others.
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