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What can we tell from above?

This was the third meeting in the series and this month, the theme is 'what we can tell form the sky' so three witnesses will help us to think about the kinds of data sets we can use to look at land use and land use change and links between these and policy implementation.

Alan Belward, the Head of the Land Resource Management Unit at the EC Joint Research Council, is one of the other witnesses and he was particularly interested in land use change and remote sensing in Africa.

Lucas Joppa from Microsoft Research, now based in Redmond, was keen to talk about the data we don't have on future land use, and asked; who owns what land and for what purpose?

They were joined by Jon Hutton, the Director of the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre who is interested in both the data sets themselves and in how to link them to policy at a national and inter-governmental level.

To help to set the scene for their introductions, they sent us some background papers, websites and articles and you can see links to them on the right.

Alan Belward's paper outlines the satellites under civilian and/or commercial control with the potential to gather global land-cover observations.

Download the paper

Lucas sent us a link to the Land Matrix, which is an open tool for collecting and visualising information about large-scale land acquisitions and contains some fascinating infographics and maps.

Go to the website