By Everline Ndenga
In November 2019, Vital Signs participated in a workshop organized by the Resilient Food Systems (RFS) Program to harmonize and streamline the indicators for food security. The aim of the workshop was to bring together Resilient Food Systems (RFS) country project representatives (M&E focal points and/or country project leaders) and Regional Hub partners to consolidate the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework, aligning specific project level indicators with a specific focus on content development for the Program’s online monitoring platform being created - our forthcoming intranet.
The Program had set transformational environmental and socio-economic targets that the country projects would contribute to in order to impact of food security in Sub Saharan Africa. These include:
- 59 Million metric tons of CO2 avoided or reduced
- 15-25% improvement of genetic diversity on farms
- 2.1 Million ha. under sustainable land management
- 1.1 Million ha. under improved production practices
- 2 Million households to benefit
Using the tools Trends.Earth, Vital Signs Program is assessing key biophysical indicators that will contribute to these targets at both national and sub national level. The indicators include land degradation, land cover, land productivity, soil organic carbon, carbon emissions due to deforestation and restoration potential.
Land degradation refers to the proportion of land that is degraded over total land area. The measure for land degradation is derived from 3 sub indicators: land productivity, land cover and soil organic carbon. Land productivity is the biological productive capacity of land, the source of all food, fibre and fuel that sustains humans, as defined by UN Statistical Commission. Land cover describes the observed physical character of the earth’s surface. More vegetation cover on land is considered positive favorable for sustainable land management. Soil organic carbon gains or losses from terrestrial organic matter pools.
Sustainable land management activities and improved land-based production practices will be reflected through some or all these indicators. A baseline report on the indicators will be shared in the next quarter. The data shared can be utilized by governments, NGOs, students, researchers, activists among others to advance their agenda on financial mobilization, policy development, project formulation among others.
For more information, email Everline Ndenga: firstname.lastname@example.org