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Trends.Earth

A new tool to assess the health of the land that supports us

© DigitalGlobe

Food Security. Climate Change. Tracking Land Health.​

By 2050, the global population is expected to surpass 9 billion people. Will the land be able to feed us all? Understanding the health of Earth's lands has never been more critical.

Using satellite imagery and global data, Trends.Earth can identify land that is no longer productive.

How to restore and sustain the land that sustains us?

Trends.Earth is an online platform that monitors "land degradation" — the reduction or loss of the biological or economic productivity of land. Using satellite imagery and global data, Trends.Earth can identify degraded areas and help decision-makers improve them. Piloted in four African countries, the tool can now be used anywhere in the world.

The Sustainable Development Goals aim to achieve "land-degradation neutrality" - where the quality of land resources remains stable or increases - by 2030. Trends.Earth can support countries in achieving land-degradation neutrality. Without it, our future is not sustainable.

How Does Trends.Earth Work?

Trends.Earth offers data and tools to inform land management decisions. The platform uses cloud computing to process massive satellite images into usable information, assessing land trends through three indicators: land productivity, land cover and soil carbon.

LAND PRODUCTIVITY

The biological productive capacity of the land

LAND COVER

The physical material covering the Earth's surface — from trees and sand to water and asphalt

SOIL CARBON

The amount of carbon stored in organic matter (plants and living things) — stored in the soil

Global mapping of coral reefs
© Michael Taylor/NASA

Data Availability and Feasibility

Trends.Earth analyzes multiple global satellite datasets and can incorporate national-level data where available, then integrates them into a user-friendly interface. Trends.Earth also standardizes how land degradation is measured, as well as analysis of data, in support of reporting to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) or the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

 

 

A researcher enters data at a workstation in Cocha Cashu, Peru.
© Benjamin Drummond

Who can use Trends.Earth?

Anyone can use Trends.Earth and access its data, from donors and policymakers to the general public.

International organizations, government agencies and researchers are already using the tool to address specific questions related to land degradation neutrality and food security. Access to Trends.Earth is completely free and exists on an open-source platform, which allows users to redistribute and modify the software for personal use.

VISIT TRENDS.EARTH
Researchers prepare samples for a plant press.
© Benjamin Drummond

Assess land on all scales

The platform was created through a partnership between Lund University, NASA and Conservation International's Vital Signs program.

Funding for Trends.Earth was provided by the Global Environment Facility.