With global population predicted to reach around 9 billion by 2050, not only intensive croplands, but also rangelands, scrublands and pasturelands will continue to come under pressure to further increase their productivity, grassland plant biomass and increase animal protein production, to supply an ever-growing global need for of essential animal protein. At the same time there is much focus on making sure that these lands are being managed in a sustainable manner into the future, as their overall productivity is enhanced.

Currently there is no comprehensive global effort for monitoring the status and productivity of pastures and rangelands. Therefore GEO, the Group on Earth Observations and its Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) initiative, are bringing together space agencies, existing associated institutional frameworks, in-situ networks, rangeland ecologists, and the pasture productivity modelling community, to establish a dedicated global system for observing the condition of pastures and rangeland status, and ultimately to also estimate biomass dynamics and productivity.


Global Livestock Production Systems. Image credit: FAO/ILRI.

Termed GEOGLAM Rangeland and Pasture Productivity (RAPP), this  GEO initiative provides the global community the means to regularly monitor the condition of the world’s rangelands and pasture lands on a routine basis, and assess their capacity to sustainably produce animal protein in real-time, at global, regional and national levels.

Screen capture of the RAPP Map showing Total Vegetation cover in the Namibian rangelands and time series data for that area for 2000-2016.

Check this out and learn about the Global Rangelands Monitoring system which has been developed, and is currently hosted, by Data61 with the assistance of IT resources and services from the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI), and the AusCover facility.

*RAPP Map is supported by CSIRO and through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.