In the 28 years since the Global Environment Facility (GEF) was created, a digital revolution has taken place. Data from satellite remote sensing and other Earth observation technology have become much more regular, widespread, less costly and accessible. Together with scientific and technological advances such as cloud computing, machine learning, and data sharing, these data offer more opportunity to observe, monitor, and predict environmental and social phenomena with greater efficiency and precision.
Many GEF projects and programs are using Earth observation data to design, implement, monitor, and evaluate interventions. However, the uptake and use of Earth observation technology by GEF agencies is uneven. Since 2017, the Project Information Form (PIF) requires project proponents to provide a map and geo-coordinates of the project’s location. A PIF map could benefit from being integrated with information derived from Earth observation, but there remains limited guidance on how this information should be provided.
The STAP document provides a summary of a more detailed technical primer currently under development to encourage greater use of Earth observation data and technologies in GEF projects. This will provide: a detailed explanation of Earch observation, including information on data sources and platforms; GEF and non-GEF case studies to illustrate how these data and tools can be used; guidance on how to meet the requirement to provide a project map and geo-coordinates; and recommendations to encourage the use of Earth observation by the GEF.