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Chinese scientists help Africa combat land degradation

Chinese scientists help Africa fight land degradation

PAGGW National 30-m spatial resolution LPD Product. Credit: AIR

Chinese scientists have released an online tool, the Great Green Wall Big Data Facilitatorto help African countries combat increasingly severe land degradation on June 16, the 28th World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought.

Land degradation is one of the major global environmental and ecological challenges. Africa is particularly vulnerable to land degradation and desertification, and it is the worst affected region. “Up to 65 percent of productive land is affected, while desertification affects 45 percent of Africa’s land area,” according to a 2021 FAO report.

In the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the UN 2030 Agenda), the UN has outlined 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), among which SDG 15 proposes a prospect of “By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and flooding, and strive for a world neutral to land degradation.”

To address the data gap in global land degradation monitoring, a group of Chinese scientists led by Prof. Li Xiaosong of International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals (CBAS) and Aerospace Information Research Institute (AIR), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), in collaboration with Beijing Normal University, Computer Network Information Center of CAS and Institute or Software or CAS, have developed a 30-meter Land Productivity Dynamics (LPD) calculation tool.

As the world’s first 30-meter LPD calculation tool, it can realize the calculation of a 30-meter LPD within the specified global spatial range and time period, providing important data support for global land degradation monitoring.

The calculation is based on the SDG Big Data Platform, supported by CBSAS, which was launched in Beijing in September 2021 to facilitate the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda.

The “Great Green Wall” is an Africa-led initiative launched in 2007 with the aim of restoring the continent’s degraded landscapes and transforming millions of lives in the Sahel. To support the development of the “Great Green Wall”, Chinese scientists are using this tool to produce a 30-meter spatial resolution LPD product that covers an area of ​​9.34 million square kilometers in 11 member countries. are from the Great Green Wall Pan-Africa Agency (PAGGW).

The result of the spatiotemporal analysis shows that from 2013 to 2020, for the PAGGW countries, the land with increasing productivity accounted for 16.25% and the area with decreasing productivity accounts for 7.36% of the total area.

For the Sahel, the main target area of ​​the Great Green Wall, the country with increasing productivity accounted for 8.45%, while the country with declining productivity represented 9.24% of the total area, which is not a promising prospect for development of the Great Green Wall.

The LPD product presented on the Great Green Wall Big Data Facilitator can be used to track the progress of LDN from the target areas. In addition, the platform also provides a knowledge base on land degradation prevention and control, derived from successful practices of China’s efforts to combat land degradation in northern China.

Ibrahim Thiaw, UN Deputy Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), welcomed the launch of this online tool and said the results have the potential to build the Great Green Wall of Africa in the future.

Provided by the Chinese Academy of Sciences

Quote: Chinese scientists help Africa fight land degradation (2022, June 21) retrieved June 21, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-06-chinese-scientists-africa-combat-degradation.html

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