Sucess Stories

Earth observation of international financial institutions (eofi): service trial 2 - development planning

The main purpose of Earth Observation for International Financial Institutions (EOFI) is to demonstrate and validate the utility of currently available EO information services in support of selected IFI projects. In the scope of EOFI, GAF AG has been awarded with Service Trial 2: Development planning in the Menabe region in Madagascar.

Service provider: GAF AG
User/Customer: Int. Fund Agricultural Development, Madagascar
EOservice: DEM Generation
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The European Space Agency (ESA), as part of its Value Adding Element (VAE) programme, has been collaborating with UN-IFAD (UN International Fund for Agricultural Development) to understand their working environment and information requirements in particular for Earth Observation ( EO) services. This process has resulted in three EO service trials providing direct support to specific UN-IFAD projects in Madagascar:

* Service Trial 1: Monitoring of rice crop acreage
* Service Trial 2: Infrastructure development planning
* Service Trial 3: Support to land tenure plans

The main purpose of these three activities is to demonstrate and validate the utility of currently available EO information services in support of UN-IFAD projects. For certain fields EO products and services have been identified as a useful tool to support the the design, monitoring and management of UN-IFAD projects and finally to assess the impact and social benefits of the financed development activity.

ervice Trial 2 refers to the UN-IFAD funded project AD2M, a still running project in the Menabe Region. It supports development in the mentioned areas with focus on land tenure and sustainable expansion of arable land. The project site is located in the mid-west of Madagascar and comprises a total area of nearly 14 000 km2.

This service trial focus on the identification of suitable sites for development planning within the UN-IFAD funded ADM2 project - in this case for implementation of irrigation schemes. From the user required information is:

* Current land cover maps required for general planning purpose
* Digital Elevation Model (DEM)
* DEM based information layers ready for GIS (Slope, Aspect and Basic Drainage System Layers)

For an area of about 14 000 kmĀ² in Western Madagascar (Menabe region), GAF AG in the role as Service Provider delivered state of the art EO products which have been customised to meet the specific user requirements of IFAD best possible. In particular to address the information demand of IFAD, a dedicated product has been designed (the Baiboho Map) in order to identify areas with potential for further agricultural activities within the region.

Including standard products such as Land Cover Maps and Digital Elevation Models, the specified EO-service delivered different information layers which are of benefit for development planning within the region.

Based on most recent (2010) multi-spectral ALOS AVNIR-2 Earth Observation data, six final products were derived. The ALOS AVNIR-2 sensor offers EO-data which represents the land cover with a spatial resolution of 10 m in the visible and the near infrared light. The processing of the EO-data was realized by semi-automatic pixel-based classification approach.

The production of the Land Cover Map included field data from Madagascar which was provided by local stakeholders in order to improve the thematic accuracy. The final Land Cover Map presents a rather recent information layer of the entire service area with a high spatial and thematic accuracy. Based on this Land Cover Map, the Baiboho Map was derived, combining the land cover map with height and moisture index information. The map indicates potential areas for further agricultural activities within the river valleys (the so called Baibohos), which are extremely important for agricultural production in Madagascar.

Within the service assessment, the user (IFAD) stated that the information provided through this service and its product has improved the development planning by:

* Improved spatial coverage
* Improved spatial resolution
* Improved accuracy achieved as products have been well mapped with great precision
* Improved monitoring capabilities regarding comprehensiveness/timeliness which leads to a more efficient development planning.

IFAD is involved within the development planning in Madagascar for many years. Earth Observation data with its objectivity offers a dedicated tool to support development planning for large areas by monitoring the recent project activities in Madagascar as well as in generating new information such as the drainage system layer which is indeed helpful for irrigation planning. Stated by the User and the Service Provider, the major benefit is given by the integration of EO-based products within the planning processes. Situation awareness information of large areas in Madagascar definitely contribute to an improved development planning, and EO-based products and services such as demonstrated in this Service Trial 2 can deliver such information.