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The Application of Geospatial and Disaster Information for Food Insecurity and Agricultural Drought Monitoring and Assessment by the FAO GIEWS and Asia FIVIMS

Published by:
Publication date
Type of Publication:
Working Papers & Briefs
Focus Region:
Asia and the Pacific
Focus Topic:
Climate / Weather / Environment
Nutrition / Food Systems
Type of Risk:
Weather & Climate related
Type of Risk Managment Option:
Risk assessment
Naoki Minamiguchi
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has operationally been utilising low-resolution satellite remote sensing data to monitor vegetation and rainfall development over large areas in near real-time through the FAO Advanced Real Time Environmental Monitoring Information System (ARTEMIS) since 1988. The FAO Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) on Food and Agriculture and the Asia Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System (FIVIMS) are amongst the main users of the ARTEMIS data in the Asia and Pacific region, whilst the GIEWS monitors food supply and demand conditions for all countries in the world on a continuous basis and provides timely warnings of imminent food shortages, droughts, and hunger at individual country or sub-regional level. As part of its activities, the  System collects and archives information from many different sources. It makes use of GIS andm remote sensing technologies to identify regions experiencing  unfavourable crop growing conditions and food supply shortfalls and to determine food insecure areas and/or populations. In particular, the GIEWS makes extensive use of the ARTEMIS near real-time satellite images such as the METEOSAT-derived  Cold Cloud Duration  (CCD) imagery providing a proxy for rainfall over Africa, and  Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) images for all countries, effectively providing the GIEWS with information on drought, crop growing and rangeland conditions. Initially, the focus of the ARTEMIS was on Africa. However, the range of products available through the ARTEMIS has increased steadily over the last 6 years, drawing primarily upon new NDVI products derived from the VEGETATION Instrument aboard the SPOT-4 and 5 satellites, and now include imagery at a 1 km resolution covering the entire landmass of the globe. The Asia FIVIMS takes full advantage of and extends the experiences gained by the GIEWS and the ARTEMIS to drought and disaster-prone countries in Asia.  It has established and maintained own networks of disaster data providers and partners for improved food insecurity and vulnerability analysis as well as provides information on the locations and characteristics of the food insecure and vulnerable in digital maps and other forms. The Asia FIVIMS is also building the  capacity of the member  countries on short-term drought monitoring and food security analysis.