SDG 15 - Life on land

sdg 15

Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss

Forests cover 30.7 per cent of the Earth’s surface and, in addition to providing food security and shelter, they are key to combating climate change, protecting biodiversity and the homes of the indigenous population. By protecting forests, we will also be able to strengthen natural resource management and increase land productivity.

At the current time, thirteen million hectares of forests are being lost every year while the persistent degradation of drylands has led to the desertification of 3.6 billion hectares. Even though up to 15% of land is currently under protection, biodiversity is still at risk. Deforestation and desertification – caused by human activities and climate change – pose major challenges to sustainable development and have affected the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in the fight against poverty.

Efforts are being made to manage forests and combat desertification. There are two international agreements being implemented currently that promote the use of resources in an equitable way. Financial investments in support of biodiversity are also being provided.

The Lion’s Share Fund

On 21 June, 2018, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), FINCH and founding partner Mars, Incorporated, announced the Lion’s Share, an initiative aimed at transforming the lives of animals across the world by asking advertisers to contribute a percentage of their media spend to conservation and animal welfare projects.  The Lion’s Share will see partners contribute 0.5 percent of their media spend to the fund for each advertisement they use featuring an animal. Those funds will be used to support animals and their habitats around the world. The Fund is seeking to raise US$100m a year within three years, with the money being invested in a range of wildlife conservation and animal welfare programs to be implemented by United Nations and civil society organizations.

Facts and Figures

Forests

  •     Around 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihood, including 70 million indigenous people.
  •     Forests are home to more than 80 per cent of all terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects.
  •     Between 2010 and 2015, the world lost 3.3 million hectares of forest areas. Poor rural women depend on common pool resources and are especially affected by their depletion.

Desertification

  •     6 billion people depend directly on agriculture, but 52 per cent of the land used for agriculture is moderately or severely affected by soil degradation.
  •     Arable land loss is estimated at 30 to 35 times the historical rate
  •     Due to drought and desertification, 12 million hectares are lost each year (23 hectares per minute). Within one year, 20 million tons of grain could have been grown.
  •     74 per cent of the poor are directly affected by land degradation globally.

Biodiversity

  •     Illicit poaching and trafficking of wildlife continues to thwart conservation efforts, with nearly 7,000 species of animals and plants reported in illegal trade involving 120 countries.
  •     Of the 8,300 animal breeds known, 8 per cent are extinct and 22 per cent are at risk of extinction.
  •     Of the over 80,000 tree species, less than 1 per cent have been studied for potential use.
  •     Fish provide 20 per cent of animal protein to about 3 billion people. Only ten species provide about 30 per cent of marine capture fisheries and ten species provide about 50 per cent of aquaculture production.
  •     Over 80 per cent of the human diet is provided by plants. Only three cereal crops – rice, maize and wheat – provide 60 per cent of energy intake.
  •     As many as 80 per cent of people living in rural areas in developing countries rely on traditional plant-­‐based medicines for basic healthcare.
  •     Micro-organisms and invertebrates are key to ecosystem services, but their contributions are still poorly known and rarely acknowledged.

Space-based Technologies for SDG 15

Protecting nature and biodiversity is an increasingly important challenge for humanity.
Satellite technology can be used to track endangered species and disrupt the poaching activities that drive the illegal wildlife trade.
UNOOSA helps stakeholders in biodiversity and wildlife management use space applications to monitor, assess and manage biodiversity and ecosystems.
http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/psa/emnrm/biodiversity.html

 

Learn more about the SDGs

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Name of the community

Maya

Short description of community and hydrogeology of the area

Yucatan is located in the southeast portion of Mexico. The total area of Yucatan is 124, 409 km2 and the population (by 2018) was ca. 2.1 million inhabitants. The landscape of the area is defined by a highly permeable karstic soil, a notable absence of rivers or permanent freshwater resources in the surface, and a high number of natural wells or sinkholes (locally called cenotes, from the Maya word t´sonot).  

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Register for the Participatory Workshop for Indigenous Women - apply for funding until 21 August

Are you an indigenous women or in touch with indigenous communities. Don't miss this chance to make the voices of indigenous women heard. We would like to contribute to closing the digital divide, as well as to raise the voices of indigenous women on their views realated to water and the environment.

Spread the word about this opportunity so we can reach as many Indigenous women as possible.

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How do your professional career and/or your personal experience relate to space technologies and water?

My interest in water is deeply rooted in my personal life. I grew up on an island in the Philippines where a lot of people depend on water as a source of livelihood. From fishing in the open sea to fish breeding, water has always been a source of income at home. Aside from this, the small community where I grew up struggled with access to running water.

Report on the Third Space4Water Stakeholder Meeting

The Office for Outer Space Affairs and the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water organized the third Space4Water stakeholder meeting hosted in Vienna on 24 and 25 October 2023 in a hybrid format.

The present report describes the objectives of the meeting and includes details of attendance and a summary of the presentations, discussions and interactive sessions, as well as the conclusions.

The full report is available for download below.

Register for the 1st Space4Water Stakeholder Meeting - End or registration: 30 September

Space4Water stakeholders, featured young professionals and professionals, join us in Vienna at the 1st Space4Water Stakeholder Meeting.

Dates and location

The workshop will take place on 27-28 October 2022 at the Vienna International Centre, with an opportunity to host it online, should COVID prevent travels in October.

Registration

To be considered for participation Space4Water stakeholders and featured professionals can register here.

Register for the 2nd Space4Water Stakeholder Meeting - End of registration: 30 April

organised by UNOOSA in partnership with the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW)
11-12 May 2023, Online
 
This event is restricted to Space4Water stakeholders, featured professionals, young professionals and representatives of Indigenous communities featured on the portal.

Registration for speakers submitting technical presentations closes on 15 April 2023.
Registration for all other participants closes on 30 April 2023.

Launch of Zimbabwe's first Satellite ZIMSAT - 1

What began as the development of a cubesat (BIRD-5) at the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan took off on a spacecraft to the International Space Station from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, US on 6 November 2022 (watch the video of the launch of the CRS2 NG-18 (Cygnus) Mission (Antares), in the video below the article).

Register for the United Nations/Ghana/PSIPW - 5th International conference on the use of space technology for water resources management

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Government of Ghana are jointly organizing a Conference with the support of the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) to promote the use of space technology in water management to the benefit of developing countries.

The Conference will be held in Accra, Ghana, from 10- 13 May 2022, hosted by the University of Energy and Natural Resources on behalf of the Government of Ghana.

Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space: 2021

The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in its sixty-fourth session, which took place form 25 August-3 September 2021 in Vienna, adopted the below on its agenda item "Space and water": 
 

  1. The Committee considered the agenda item entitled “Space and water”, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 75/92.

Interview with Yolanda Lopez-Maldonado

Name of the community

Maya

Short description of community and hydrogeology of the area

Yucatan is located in the southeast portion of Mexico. The total area of Yucatan is 124, 409 km2 and the population (by 2018) was ca. 2.1 million inhabitants. The landscape of the area is defined by a highly permeable karstic soil, a notable absence of rivers or permanent freshwater resources in the surface, and a high number of natural wells or sinkholes (locally called cenotes, from the Maya word t´sonot).  

Capacity Building and Training Material

Water Productivity and Water Accounting using WaPOR

Water Productivity and Water Accounting using WaPOR (the portal to monitor Water Productivity through Open-access of Remotely sensed derived data) is an open online course targeting practitioners and academicians who are working in water resources management and related fields and have interest in applying open access remote sensing data and other open data to assess the water resources situation and water productivity and the extent to which water productivity increases have an effect on different water users in a river basin context.

FAO CB4WA: Use of FAO WaPOR Portal

Overview

Welcome to the open access course Use of FAO WaPOR Portal from IHE Delft Institute for Water Education and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). WaPOR is the portal to monitor Water Productivity through Open-access of Remotely sensed derived data and has been developed by FAO. The FAO’s WaPOR programme assists countries in monitoring water productivity, identifying water productivity gaps, proposing solutions to reduce these gaps, and contributing to a sustainable increase in agricultural production.

GEO Knowledge Package Deep Dive - Webinar

GEO Knowledge Hub Webinar Series

The second GEO Knowledge Hub (GKH) webinar took place on Thursday 1 April 2021 from 1pm to 2pm (CET) 

Objective

The webinar covered a deep dive into the Land Use/Land Cover Classification Knowledge Package developed by the Brazilian Data Cube team at INPE. 

The webinar illustrated the journey of a Knowledge Provider, from creating a Knowledge Package through to sharing it in the GEO Knowledge Hub.

Data Recipes & Short Tutorials

Overview

Data recipes are video tutorials that include step-by-step instructions to help users learn how to discover, access, subset, visualize and use Earth science data, information, tools and services. These recipes cover many different data products across the Earth science disciplines and different processing languages/software.
 

Event

Participatory workshop for indigenous women on their roles and responsibilities related to water

Event Banner

register here until 21 August 2022 - if you would like to be considered for funding

In many places around the world women are responsible for water collection, a responsibility that globally takes them 200 million hours annually. It often leaves them with little to no time for school, work or to spend time with their family. Furthermore, indigenous communities' cultural heritage and knowledge about natural resources, including water, urgently needs to be considered and protected.

Local Perspectives Case Studies

Project / Mission / Initiative / Community Portal

WMO Hydrological Observing System Portal

Currently, WHOS makes available three data portals allowing users to easily leverage common WHOS functionalities such as data discovery and data access, on the web by means of common web browsers. For more information on WHOS data and available tools, please refer to the Section WHOS web services and supported tools.

WHOS-Global Portal provides all hydrometeorological data shared through WHOS. WHOS-Global Portal is implemented using the Water Data Explorer application.

e-shape

e-shape is a unique initiative that brings together decades of public investment in Earth Observation and in cloud capabilities into services for the decision-makers, the citizens, the industry and the researchers. It allows Europe to position itself as global force in Earth observation through leveraging Copernicus, making use of existing European capacities and improving user uptake of the data from GEO assets.  EuroGEO, as Europe's contribution to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), aims at bringing together Earth Observation resources in Europe.

Stakeholder

The United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS)

The United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS) is a research and training institute of the United Nations University. UNU is a global network of institutes and programs engaged in research and capacity development to support the universal goals of the UN. It brings together leading scholars from around the world with a view to generate strong and innovative knowledge on how to tackle pressing global problems. UNU-CRIS focuses on the study of processes of global cooperation and regional integration and their implications.

Remote Sensing, GIS and Climatic Research Lab, University of the Punjab

The emerging demand of GIS and Space Applications for Climate Change studies for the socio-economic development of Pakistan along with Government of Pakistan Vision 2025, Space Vision 2047 of National Space Agency of Pakistan, and achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) impelled the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) to establish Remote Sensing, GIS and Climatic Research Lab (RSGCRL) at University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.

Satsense Solutions Limited

Satsense Solutions Limited is a start-up company that uses satellite earth observation to develop business and governance solutions addressing the challenges of resource management, climate change and sustainable development. It has developed and deployed several applications in the Water Resources, Hydropower, Mining and Infrastructure sectors. These include assessments of eutrophication levels in lakes and reservoirs and sedimentation rates at hydropower plants. Identification of pollution in rivers, acid mine drainage and tailings at mining sites.

Tribhuvan University, Institute of Forestry, Pokhara

The Institute of Forestry, Pokhara Campus (IOF-PC), Quality Assurance Accreditation (QAA) certified institution by the UGC, Nepal in September 2022, was established in 1981 as the Central Campus of the Institute of Forestry, one of the five technical institutes under Tribhuvan University, Nepal. The IOF, founded as Nepal Forestry Institute in Singh Durbar, Kathmandu, in 1947, was shifted to Suping (BhimPhedi) in 1957 and again to Hetauda in 1965.

Publication

Software/Tool/(Web-)App

ISME-HYDRO

ISME-HYDRO is a platform that helps monitor water resources of dams, thus enabling water resources managers to better execute their duties. It employs linked data infrastructure integrating in-situ measurements, satellite data, GIS data, domain knowledge, deep learning, and provides capabilities of forecasting of water volumes, of alerting for hazardous situations, of interaction with the data through four kinds of search and GIS interactivity. The platform is easily extendable and customizable.

Space-based Solution

Collaborating actors (stakeholders, professionals, young professionals or Indigenous voices)
Suggested solution

Note: this description is a work in progress developed by the collaborating entities in a workshop. If you would like to contribute reach out to office@space4water.org, or your trusted Space4Water point of contact.

The solution approach begins with identifying the region's main rivers and understanding their hydrology using mapping and geoprocessing tools. After understanding the hydrography of the area and mapping the surface water extent river course through the building a hydrographic dataset, multiple image sources are used to map the historical land use and land cover surrounding the river.

1. Resources needed

Software

  • QGIS https://www.qgis.org/en/site 
  • TerraHidro 5 - Console applications https://www.dpi.inpe.br/terrahidro/doku.php
  • PostgreSQL https://www.postgresql.org
  • PostGIS Spatial Database System  https://postgis.net/
  • PgHydro extension for PostgreSQL/PostGIS http://pghydro.org/
  • PgHydro Plugin for QGIS https://plugins.qgis.org/plugins/PghydroTools/

Data

Forest And Buildings removed Copernicus DEM

Publications

see reference in the bibliography below.

2. Steps to the solution & status

Overivew

  1. Plot the Region of Interest (completed)
  2. Identify the region's main rivers and understand their hydrology (completed);
  3. Identify the region's potential flood areas using H.A.N.D.;
  4. Build a hydrography dataset (completed);
  5. Identify multiple image sources for land cover analysis (completed);
  6. Map the historical land use and land cover surrounding the river (in progress);

Step-by-step

1. Plot the Region of Interest (completed)

  1. Download and install QGIS to plot the KML files of the region of interest
Example KML plot of the strip of land of the Maori communtiy who submitted the challenge
Figure 1: Example KML plot of the strip of land of the Maori communtiy who submitted the challenge

 

2. Identify the region's main rivers and understand their hydrology (completed)

  1. Download the FABDEM data for the Region of Interest.
    FABDEM (Forest And Buildings removed Copernicus DEM) is a global elevation map that removes building and tree height biases from the Copernicus GLO 30 Digital Elevation Model (DEM) (https://data.bris.ac.uk/data/dataset/25wfy0f9ukoge2gs7a5mqpq2j7).
     
    A FEABDEM Digital Elevation Model of the Ngutunui region, New Zealand.
    Figure 2: A FEABDEM Digital Elevation Model of the Ngutunui region, New Zealand.

     
  2. Download and Install TerraHidro 5 - Console applications (https://www.dpi.inpe.br/terrahidro/doku.php) to extract the hydrograph products derived from the FABDEM to understand the hydrography setup of the area (Flow direction, flow accumulation and drainage lines and areas, H.A.N.D.).
     
    Flow direction in the Ngutunui region, New Zealand
    Figure 3: Flow direction in the Ngutunui region, New Zealand
    Flow accumultation in the Ngutunui region, New Zealand
    Figure 4: Flow accumultation in the Ngutunui region, New Zealand
     
    Sintetetic drainage lines and areas
    Figure 5: Sintetic draingage lines and areas Ngutunui region, New Zealand

     

3. Identify the region's potential flood areas using H.A.N.D.

Building on Nobre et. al (2011) in which the HAND terrain model that "normalizes topography according to the local relative heights found along the drainage network, and in this way, presents the topology of the relative soil gravitational potentials, or local draining potentials" is introduced by the authors.

Height Above the Neaerest Drainage (HAND)in the Ngutunui reiong,
Figure 6: Height Above the Neaerest Drainage (HAND) in the Ngutunui region showng the areas for potential flooding in darker blue. In the current map this is in the bottom right quarter of the image.

 

4. Build a hydrography dataset (completed)

  1. Download and instal PostgreSQL/PostGIS Spatial Database System (https://www.postgresql.org/) (https://postgis.net/), PgHydro extension for PostgreSQL/PostGIS (http://pghydro.org/) and PgHydro Plugin for QGIS;(https://plugins.qgis.org/plugins/PghydroTools/).
  2. Build the Hydrograph Dataset;(https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgkCUQ-i72bBY41a1bhVWyw) using the Drainage Lines and Drainage Areas extracted from FABDEM;
  3. Information like drainage area, upstream area, drainage line length and distance to sea information are now available.
     
    Hydrography dataset of the Ngutunui region in New Zealand
    Figure 7: Hydrography dataset of the Ngutunui region in New Zealand

     

5. Identify multiple image sources for landing cover analysis (completed);

  1. To collect historic and high-resolution up-to-date imagery over the area, UNOOSA contacted the Land and Information New Zealand Data Service, which provided both historical aerial imagery and LIDAR data sources.
  2. Historic data for the relevant land patch can be accessed via the Retrolens New Zealand Service (https://retrolens.co.nz/Map/#/1784971.9859981549/5783474.532151884/1786387.2653498782/5784857.564632303/2193/12).
  3. Up-to-date aerial photos of the area can be accessed here at the New Zealand Data Service. Tile 503 and 603 are the ones of interest (https://data.linz.govt.nz/layer/112048-waikato-03m-rural-aerial-photos-index-tiles-2021-2023/history/).
  4. Relevant Landsat data are available from 1989. For the study area, Landsat 7 data is available from 2 July 1999, and Landsat 4 from 2 February 1989;
  5. Google Earth Engine Apps - Global Forest Change (https://google.earthengine.app/view/forest-change)

6. Map the historical land use and land cover surrounding the river (in progress);

Relevant publications
Related space-based solutions
Keywords (for the solution)
Climate Zone (addressed by the solution)
Habitat (addressed by the solution)
Region/Country (the solution was designed for, if any)
Relevant SDGs