“Here’s a map that I made with the help of NASA and the United Nations”, now that’s not something I expected that I would be saying. It all came about because I have been taking a class on spatial mapping from the UN’s Learning For Nature platform.
I have begun studying spatial data mapping using the UN’s very cool online Biodiversity Lab https://www.learningfornature.org/…/webinar-2-un-biodivers…/ . Anybody can use this online global information system to make maps. The system shows any of 115 global data layers of accumulated data provided by NASA satellites (thank you NASA and UN). These can be filtered to show particular information, some layers can be combined and set to highlight overlapping areas. The European Union have their own satellites (Sentinel 2) and in combination with NASA’s Landsats they can really increase the coverage. Yet another example of why international cooperation is essential.
This Biodiversity Lab is an important tool in the global efforts to achieve Aichi biodiversity targets (5, 11, 12, 14, 15). It enables teams from nations that wouldn’t normally have GIS data, to use it to help their strategic environment development planning and to show success (where it exists) as well as damage and risks to communities. (https://www.cbd.int/sp/targets/).
NASA’s Forest Integrity Project is providing developing nations with spatial data to support their commitments to the Convention on Biodiversity (https://www.cbd.int/) and UNFCCC (https://unfccc.int/) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/…/transformingourworld)
To naturalists the extent, maturity and connectivity of forests is of clear interest, so this tool is really important for studying life on land. Marine biologists can use it to study marine biodiversity. It doesn’t just help by showing problems, it provides evidence of working solutions too.
If you wanted you could make a global version of this map or just focus on a smaller land area like your home region. The system allows you to save your map as a png file for use in reports or online.