Chinese scientists help Africa combat land degradation

Fri, 24 Jun 2022 06:12:01 GMT
Space Daily

Beijing, China (SPX) Jun 22, 2022 On June 16, the 28th World Day to Combat Desertification and...

On June 16, the 28th World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, China's national home event was held in Beijing, where Chinese scientists released an online tool, the Great Green Wall Big Data Facilitator, to help African countries combat increasingly severe land degradation.

Land degradation is one of the most significant global ecological and environmental challenges.

Africa is particularly vulnerable to land degradation and desertification, and it is the most severely affected region.

"Up to 65 per cent of productive land is degraded, while desertification affects 45 per cent of Africa's land area".

In the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UN has described 17 Sustainable Development Goals, among which SDG 15 proposes a prospect of "By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought, and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world".

To address the data gap in the global land degradation monitoring, a group of Chinese scientists led by Prof. LI Xiaosong from the International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals and the Aerospace Information Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in partnership with Beijing Normal University and several other CAS institutes including Computer Network Information Center and Institute of Software have developed a 30-meter Land Productivity Dynamics calculation tool.

As the world's first 30-meter LPD calculation tool, it can realize the calculation of a 30-meter LPD within the specified global spatial range as well as time period, thereby providing important data support for global land degradation monitoring.

For the Sahel, the main target area of the Great Green Wall, the land with increasing productivity accounted for 8.45%, while the land with decreasing productivity accounting for 9.24% of the total area, which is not a promising prospect for the development of the Great Green Wall.

The platform also provides a knowledge bank about prevention and control of land degradation, which is obtained from successful practices of China's efforts to combat land degradation in Northern China.

The online tool has provided a "China's solution" in conducting global land degradation assessment through the use of big data, said SUN Guoji, an official from the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.

Summarized by 53%, original article size 2425 characters