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UAE joins UN initiative to fight hunger and poverty

posted on 30/04/2006: 702 views

The UAE has joined a new initiative launched by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to provide assistance to hunger-stricken regions in different parts of the world, according to a Khaleej Times report.

Kayan Akram Al Jaff, FAO regional representative in UAE, told the paper that the participation of the emirates in the new version of the Organisation's spatial data catalogue, FAO GeoNetwork, would help decision-makers, especially in developing countries, to achieve sustainable development. According to him, the new project, launched on Monday in Rome, allows decision-makers to access satellite imagery, interactive maps and spatial databases from FAO, WFP, CGIAR and other sources.

This new version of GeoNetwork is faster and more reliable than the previous one. In addition, several other UN agencies have joined the network, thereby adding an impressive amount of valuable UN system-wide geospatial information.

The launch coincides with the release of a new version of the World Food Programme GeoNetwork, which contributes substantially to the effective sharing and dissemination of geographical datasets with major emphasis on food security and vulnerability issues.

The WFP network includes nodes at WFP headquarters, regional bureaus and country offices. The joint launch marks the start of a new era for spatial data sharing among UN agencies, allowing users to instantly see maps and related information from the different agencies together in one search.

The Second GeoNetwork Workshop was held at FAO from April 24. The five-day event was attended by partner UN agencies as well as the CGIAR institutes and other international partners. These partners in the GeoNetwork initiative are sharing data in the same manner and will soon be searchable through the FAO GeoNetwork.

Satellite imagery and spatial databases assist countries to fight hunger and rural poverty. Users overlay maps from multiple servers housed at development institutions worldwide to create customised thematic maps on their own computers covering such variables as land cover, soil quality, vegetation and population density and marketing access.

FAO GeoNetwork is a collaborative effort to provide a free and open source software based spatial data management system that is widely distributed and used. It adheres to international standards for geographic data sharing. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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