International Symposium on Land Cover Mapping for the African Continent


International Symposium on

Land Cover Mapping for the African Continent

Organizers: RCMRD, UNEP, Tsinghua University, and U.S. Department of the Interior

Dates: June 25-27th, 2013

Location: Nairobi, Kenya


The International Symposium on Land Cover Mapping for the African Continent, hosted by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), with support from the United States Department of the Interior, Tsinghua University and the joint USAID/NASA SERVIR program took place in Nairobi, Kenya on June 25-27, 2013.


The Symposium brought together a diverse group of participants from four continents (Africa, America, Europe, and Asia).Participants were from governments, academia, and NGOS representatives from nineteen African countries, including regional entities.


Workshop Objectives:

The major objectives of this three-day event were to share ongoing technical collaboration, data availability, capacity building successes, and to increase communication between and among the various stakeholders.


1. Discuss, demonstrate and review the methods, qualities, innovations and technical issues involved in the new global LULC mapping products – the 30 m satellite derived global land cover map completed through international collaboration between China and the USA with particular reference to Africa.

2. Discuss and develop a plan for validating and improving the 30 m land cover map product over the African continent.

3. Define regional training needs for building capacity to improve the national and regional land cover datasets for Africa

4. Discuss data sharing and applications for the high resolution global land cover map for carbon cycling, biodiversity monitoring (particularly Aichi Targets) greenhouse gas monitoring, and other environmental issues. This may include a demonstration of carbon accounting applications.


Workshop materials for downloading:

Invitational letter

Final agenda


Participants list

Concept note


Day 1


Talk title

Ashbindu Singh

UNEP Needs for LULC data and information

Georgios Sarantakos

GEO Global Land Cover Task

Tesfaye Korme

Land use / land cover mapping in Eastern and Southern African Regions RCMRD experience

Peng Gong

The 30 m global land cover products from China: progress and perspectives



Day 2


Talk title

Gabriel Sanya  

DAY 1 summary

Chandra Giri 

Global 30 M land cover

Alan Belward

Land use and land cover mapping at the Joint Research Centre

Renato Cumani & John Latham  

FAO land cover mapping methodology, tools and standards & GLC–SHARE database

Steffen Fritz

Global and African crop land and crowdsourcing

Hiroshi Sasakawa 

JICA NationalLand Cover Datasets in African Countries

John Kerkering  

Malawi REDD+ readiness program

Phoebe Oduor  

U.S. EPA African activities supporting national GHG inventory mapping in six ESA countries

Niklas Hagelberg 

Data needs & mapping the non-carbon benefits of REDD+



Day 3


Talk title


Asante Sanya  

DAY 2 summary

Aslam Parker 

National Geo-spatial Information

Charles Situma 

Land cover mapping and land cover changes

Le Yu  

Multi-resolution global land cover maps

Lu Liang

Applications and evaluation of global land cover maps 

Zhiliang Zhu 

Land cover data and carbon assessment serving policy and land management needs

André Kooiman 

SERVIR-AFRICA: an overview