Scientific article
Open access

Knowledge generation using satellite earth observations to support sustainable development goals (SDG): A use case on Land degradation

Publication date2020

Land degradation is a critical issue globally requiring immediate actions for protecting biodiversity and associated services provided by ecosystems that are supporting human quality of life. The latest Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Landmark Assessment Report highlighted that human activities are considerably degrading land and threating the well-being of approximately 3.2 billion people. In order to reduce and ideally reverse this prevailing situation, national capacities should be strengthened to enable effective assessments and mapping of their degraded lands as recommended by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The indicator 15.3.1 (“proportion of land that is degraded over total land area”) requires regular data production by countries to inform and assess it through space and time. Earth Observations (EO) can play an important role both for generating the indicator in countries where it is missing, as well complementing or enhancing national official data sources. In response to this issue, this paper presents an innovative, scalable and flexible approach to monitor land degradation at various scales (e.g., national, regional, global) using various components of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) platform to leverage EO resources for informing SDG 15.3.1. The proposed approach follows the Data-Information-Knowledge pattern using the Trends.Earth model (http://trends.earth) and various data sources to generate the indicator. It also implements additional components for model execution and orchestration, knowledge management, and visualization. The proposed approach has been successfully applied at global, regional and national scales and advances the vision of (1) establishing data analytics platforms that can potentially support countries to discover, access and use the necessary datasets to assess land degradation; and (2) developing new capacities to effectively and efficiently use EO-based resources.

  • Land degradation
  • Sustainable development goal
  • Knowledge
  • Earth observations
  • VLab
  • Trends
  • Earth
Citation (ISO format)
GIULIANI, Gregory et al. Knowledge generation using satellite earth observations to support sustainable development goals (SDG): A use case on Land degradation. In: International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 2020, vol. 88, n° 102068. doi: 10.1016/j.jag.2020.102068
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0303-2434

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