Insect Infestation

Relying on a variety of data sources, including observations by NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), Jon Ranson and Paul Montesano of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center conducted a survey of insect-damaged forests in British Columbia. This image shows their assessment of insect damage overlain on a topography map. In this image, red indicates the most severe damage, and green indicates no damage. Gray indicates non-forested areas. Image: NASA.

Definition

Accordingly to the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) programme, insect infestation is classified as biological hazard and described as the pervasive influx, swarming and/or hatching of insects affecting humans, animals, crops, and perishable goods. Examples are locusts, plague and African Bees (IRDR).

Facts and figures

Insects are responsible for significant losses to the world's total crop production annually. Not all insects are pests but a small number are harmful to crops, livestock and humans. One major reason for the occurrence of these pests is the creation of man-manipulated habitats, with crops selected for their large size, high yield, nutritious value, and clustered in a confined area. This provides a highly conducive environment for herbivorous insects (FAO).

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News

Crops in Kenya. Image: RCMRD.

A variety of environmental and man-made factors can have a detrimental effect on the yield of farmers worldwide. A programme launched in Kenya, funded by SERVIR in collaboration with NASA Harvest and the Swiss Re Foundation, uses Earth observation (EO) data to assess crop damage and prioritise the mobilisation of financial aid to farmers.

SERVIR is a joint initiative by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and NASA’s Earth Applied Sciences Program that works with “leading regional organizations world-wide to help developing countries use information provided by Earth observing satellites and geospatial technologies for managing climate risks and land use”. SERVIR both provides access to EO... read more

Publishing date: 03/03/2021

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States Government (NASA) signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 17 December 2020 pledging cooperation in areas of science and technology to support the peaceful uses of outer space.

The MoU brings together NASA's wealth of open-source spacecraft data, tools, and expertise and UNOOSA's unique position as the only UN entity dedicated to outer space affairs, to expand global opportunities to leverage the benefits of space. The partners will design capacity-building programmes, particularly for institutions in countries that do not yet have or that are developing space capabilities, to help them access space.

Together, UNOOSA and NASA will develop ways to leverage the Artemis programme as part of UNOOSA's Access to Space 4 All Initiative, which offers opportunities for international researchers and institutions, especially in... read more

Publishing date: 11/01/2021
Screenshot of the FAO Hand-in-Hand geospatial platform.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has launched a geospatial data platform that aims to help build stronger food and agriculture sectors post COVID-19. The Hand-in-Hand system provides access to a wide range of data on food, agriculture, socioeconomics and natural resources.

The platform features over one million geospatial layers and thousands of statistics series related to food security, crops, soil, land, water, climate, fisheries, livestock, forestry and more. It also includes information on COVID-19's impact on food and agriculture. A video describing the tool and its use cases is available online.

The data included in the system has been sourced from FAO and other leading public data providers across the UN and NGOs, academia, private sector... read more

Publishing date: 09/09/2020
Report cover.

At the end of 2019, countries in the Horn of Africa began to suffer the impacts of locust swarms. Later, the locust migrated to regions in Southwest Asia. Unfortunately, the impacts on farmers are devastating. Furthermore, the combined impact of these locust plague and COVID-19 is having a toll of the livelihoods of many farmers in these regions. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has indicated that 42 million people are facing severe acute food insecurity because of this plague.

Since the end of 2019, the Aerospace Information Research Institute (ARI) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has been tracking the temporal and geospatial dynamics of the locust plague in the Horn of Africa, Eastern Africa, the Middle East and Southwest Asia. To track this plague, experts from the Vegetation Remote Sensing & Pest and Disease Application Research Team of ARI developed the Vegetation Pests and Diseases Monitoring and Forecasting System. This... read more

Publishing date: 13/08/2020
Image: ©FAO/Sven Torfinn.

On 12 June, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), through its UN-SPIDER programme, and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) hosted a webinar on “Space-based inputs for locust early warning and preparedness” as a commitment to promote the use of space technologies in combating a crisis that is mounting on top of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The recording of the webinar is available online.

During the 90-minute session, experts from UNOOSA, IWMI, India, Pakistan as well as from other international organizations, governments and private agencies discussed how space applications can strengthen the monitoring and early warning efforts to prevent the locust outbreak in future.

Opening session

... read more Publishing date: 05/06/2020
Desert locust suitable habitat survey map. Image: SUPARCO.

The Space Application Centre for Response in Emergency and Disasters (SACRED) of the Space & Upper ... read more

Publishing date: 04/06/2020
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Data Source

Publishing institution: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
The online platform features over one million geospatial layers and thousands of statistics series related to food security, crops, soil, land, water, climate, fisheries, livestock, forestry and more. It also includes information on COVID-19's impact on food and agriculture.

Event

Image:©FAO/Sven Torfinn

On 12 June, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), through its UN-SPIDER programme, and International Water Management Institute (IWMI) will be hosting a webinar on “Space-based inputs for Locust early warning and preparedness” as a commitment to promote the use of space technologies in combating a crisis that is mounting on top of the COVID-19 crisis.

The webinar will take place at 10:30-12.30am Vienna, Austria time (UTC+2). Registrations are open until 11.59pm Vienna, Austria time (UTC+2) on 10 June.

During the 90-minute session, experts from UNOOSA, IWMI, India, Pakistan as well as from other international organisations, governments and private agencies will discuss how space applications can strengthen the monitoring and early warning efforts to prevent the locust outbreak in future.

The recording of the webinar is available online.

... read more

Regional Support Offices mentioned:

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