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GEOSS Efforts for Addressing Food Security in the Face of Water Scarcity
Update time: 2012/10/31
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Water Scarcity is challenging global food security as the demand for food is surging with the growing population while production is crippled by ever scarcer water resources, in particular by the drought, which is the most serious disaster affecting agriculture production, accounting for about 57% of the total agricultural areas affected by all the drought disasters.

A GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems) Workshop on the Agricultural Drought and Water Resources was held on October 24-26, in Beijing to address this problem. Organized in the framework of GEO Agricultural Monitoring Task, the three-day workshop, gathering over 60 experts from fifteen countries, aimed at discussing the improvement of global agricultural monitoring system under conditions of water scarcity.

The discussion focuses on the background and challenges for global agriculture and water resources, progress in the development and application of agriculture drought models and earth observation (EO), modeling the impacts of climate change on agriculture and water resources, the impact and evaluation of drought on agriculture production and food security, and the implementation of global agricultural drought monitoring system of systems.

Agricultural drought is highlighted on this workshop, since the drought frequently happens in recent years due to the change of water cycle which is affected by climate change, causing immense loss in food production. Numerous drought monitoring systems have been developed at regional and global levels. Delegates from Canada, Mexico, Indonesia, Iran, and China introduced their experiences in agricultural drought monitoring on this workshop. Through this workshop, a consensus have been reached that collaboration is the essential way to address global droughts.

Technically, integrated monitoring approach for global agriculture monitoring is commonly accepted and the application of remote sensing focusing on water and agriculture was introduced. The studies of using remote sensing for estimating soil moister and surface water spatiotemporal monitoring were presented on this workshop.

Prof. Wu Bingfang, head of the Lab for Agriculture and Environment at the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (IRSDE) introduced agricultural drought monitoring system in China. As the Co-chair of GEOSS Agricultural Task, he was nominated as the co-chair of the new joint sub-task of Agriculture and Water.

At the end of the workshop, priorities were proposed for operational research and development on agricultural drought monitoring, and an action plan was developed for the joint sub-task.

For more information about this workshop, please click http://www.cropwatch.com.cn/agrworkshop/20121024/index.htm

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