Published on 10 September 2018
ESA data have been used to develop the new Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Green Growth headline indicator on land-cover change.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) defines green growth as ‘fostering economic growth and development, while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which our well-being relies.’
As loss of biodiversity and increased pressures on ecosystem services continue to pose challenges globally, it is becoming increasingly important to monitor land-cover change in the context of green growth. This is the message of a recent OECD publication.
The report on monitoring land-cover change, seeks to shine a spotlight on the importance of land-cover change as ‘the best measure available to monitor pressures on terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity.’
One of the key ways in which OECD recommends doing this is through the use of its new green growth headline indicator, which is based on ESA data from the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) and Cover project.
ESA’s CCI provides the science community and governing bodies with vital Earth observation datasets to understand and help mitigate climate change. These robust, long-term, global satellite datasets are also required by the Global Climate Observing System.
The datasets used to develop the new OECD indicator provide information on changes in types of land cover.
The science lead for the CCI Land Cover time series, Pierre Defourny, from the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium, says that they aim to provide a harmonised, stable and consistent account of long-term land-cover status and changes that is ‘immune’ to short-term seasonal and temporary changes like snow cover in winter and crop rotation.