On 13-14 September 2017, the Global Office conducted an expert meeting on Agri-environmental indicators.
The meeting was held as part of the activities planned for the research topic on “Data collection methods for the production of agri-environmental indicators.” The goal of this research is to provide practical guidelines for data collection to produce agri-environmental indicators that can be used by countries to determine whether the interface between agriculture and the physical environment is exhibiting trends towards more ecologically favorable practices.
The main objectives of the meeting were: (i) to present the literature review as well as a proposal for a concise set of indicators and a gap analysis; (ii) to discuss the core set of agri-environmental domains and indicators and a related methodological proposal for each indicator (iii) to present a preliminary Field Test Protocol (FTP) and a structure proposal for guidelines. International experts and other experts from the Global Strategy and the FAO were also invited to attend.
Documents drafted jointly by the Global Strategy and the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) were presented and a number of international experts contributed by sharing their experiences in agricultural and environmental statistics. This led to an open discussion on the purposes of the research line, the methodology and the field test protocol.
Among the most important contributions that resulted from the expert meeting, are: the inclusion of the livestock sector into the guidelines, the use of multiple data sources (such as monitoring and remote sensing systems) for developing agri-environmental indicators, and ways of combining the different types of data. Based on the discussion on the FTP, the questions and other parts of this proposal will be revised to incorporate the recommendations. The field tests are planned to be implemented in Costa Rica and Botswana.
As a result, multiple data sources can now be used to develop agri-environmental indicators. The guidelines will explain how to combine the different types of data. The final methodological document is expected to be published in June 2018.