The image represents a small portion of a colonization area in Pedro Peixoto in Acre state of Brazil. It is a 1992 TM image with the catastral map superimposed showing the individual lot boundaries. The lots are usually 80 hectares and show various degrees of deforestration. The image here has been provided by CIAT.

GIS and Agricultural Research

Geographic analysis can provide a considerable input to agricultural research where the spatial dimension is relevant. Appplications range from service functions such as collecting and providing geo-referenced data to modelling of crop yields, identification of key areas of population pressure, biodiversity conservation and complicated impact assessment analyses. The importance of GIS in agricultural research is increasing as environmental management gets its steady position on agricultural research agendas.

Project Summary

The main objective of the UNEP/CGIAR project for the 'Use of Geographic Information Systems in Agricultural Research Management' is to establish long-term cooperative links between UNEP and the CGIAR system to effectively integrate natural resource and socio-economic information into agricultural research activities.

The focus of activities lies on 3 areas:

1. Networking:

  • Establish and maintain links to cooperating institutions, international organizations and donors,

  • Coordinate and monitor the capacity and production activities,

  • Hold project initialization and follow-up workshops to discuss the activities with representatives from CGIAR and UNEP.

2. Institutional Development

  • Define requirements and mechanisms for the transfer of data and information from UNEP to IARCs and between IARCs; set up mechanisms to serve these needs, building on existing UNEP and CGIAR facilities,

  • Ensure that formal and informal training efforts are in place for IARC management and staff in GIS technology and its application to sustainable agricultural development,

  • Develop methodologies and implement pilot projects to demonstrate the utility of the use of the data sets, in conjunction with the use of GIS technology for research and planning purposes in the CGIAR Centers,

  • Facilitate and encourage technology transfer among Centres and the UNEP network, GIS vendors and external institutions with suitable expertise through formal and informal secondments, meetings, and workshops, and undertaking co-operative projects.

3. Production

Implement project plans for compilation, review and distribution of priority data sets, such as basic topographical data, climate, population, soils and others. The datasets are compiled by the institutions best suitable for the tasks under supervision of the project management under subcontract agreements,

Project Outputs

  • High quality natural resource and socio-economic data sets at global, regional, national and project levels taylor-made for IARC's available on a public-domain basis,

  • Effective functional information network and distribution mechanism for data and information to the various user groups (governmental organizations, research institutions, the general public, decision-makers),

  • Documented methods and technologies for the production and quality assurance of such data sets,

  • Staff in IARCs trained and experienced in the effective utilisation of GIS technology for sustainable agriculture,

  • Dissemination of advances in GIS utilisation for agricultural research,

  • Use of integrated data sets for planning and execution of research for sustainable agricultural development.

Last updated February 27, 1997 by Lorant Czaran