LAHORE: Dr Khalid Mahmood, Co-Principal Investigator of Remote Sensing, GIS and Climatic Research Lab (RSGCRL), National Center of GIS and Space Applications, Punjab University along with his team have been invited to participate in this global consultative session on the behalf of RSGCRL.

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO-UN) in collaboration with the Environmental System Research Institute (ESRI) and the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) organized a consultative session for the development of new Global Agro-Ecological Zoning database.

The objective of this consultation was to identify global opportunities for the development of the new Global Agro-Ecological Zoning database (GAEZ), and discuss about modalities, alternatives, and challenges of accessing, processing, and standardizing the datasets to a common format and spatial resolution for use in GAEZ.

Dr. Khalid Mahmood suggested a partnership with different actors such as students, researchers and institutions to ease sourcing the different datasets. He also pointed out the importance of updating these datasets due to disputed areas, and said there is a need for the aggregation units to be flexible, especially for hydro administration, to allow usability by decision makers and GAEZ users. He further pointed out that for water resources, it would be important to look at water quality in addition to quantity as well as quantification of available water for irrigation. These suggestions have been appreciated by the international community, and have been added in future agenda.

Miss Fiza Faizi, a Research Associate of RSGCRL, has been acknowledged for raising her points to use medium to high resolution spatially continuous satellite based datasets to quantify certain climatic variables, instead of using point based measurements which do not generally encompass the complex spatial-temporal dynamics of climatic phenomena. She further emphasized on the integration of high resolution data in global level inventory, the issues and robustness of this practice along with the associated accuracy are also to be considered.

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