Redlands, Calif./Arlington, Va., July 9, 2013”Vital Signs, a monitoring system for agriculture, ecosystems and human well-being, announced Esri as its first corporate partner today at the annual International User Conference for the geographic information systems (GIS) software developer. Vital Signs will use Esri applications and software to help policy-makers visualize outcomes of different agricultural decisions as part of the monitoring system's online indicators of sustainability.
Feeding the growing world population will require a 70-100% increase in food production through agricultural intensification, but no country can achieve this goal if it doesn't also work to sustain nature “ the healthy soils, pollinators, fresh water and forests on which farmers depend, said Dr. Sandy Andelman, Vital Signs Executive Director and Senior Vice President of the Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science and Oceans at Conservation International. The foundation of Vital Signs is providing open-access information at all the scales that are relevant for agricultural decision-making “ from a smallholder farmer household to a farm plot, landscape, region, and all the way to the globe.
Esri will provide Vital Signs with landscape analysis tools and help design a dashboard for users to assess tradeoffs and monitor a decision's impact on the land and farmer's livelihoods. These tools will enable them to establish baselines, set targets, and monitor the progress of sustainable policies within the five countries that Vital Signs currently works “ Etheopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda.
Monitoring the complexity of Earth's many ecosystems requires active networks of people, science, data, and technology, said Jack Dangermond, president and CEO of Esri. However, actually living in sustainable relationships with these ecosystems requires people who are willing to collaborate and commit to a healthy planet. Conservation International is a standard of these values. It is an honor for Esri to work with its staff to build the Vital Signs system.
Vital Signs was launched in 2012 with a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Conservation International (CI). The monitoring system is co-led by CI, the Earth Institute, Columbia University (EI), and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa (CSIR). Vital Signs will collaborate and partner with governments, other nongovernmental organizations, the academic community, the private sector and key international partners. Esri's contributions of its GIS cloud services, software, and expertise to Vital Signs will help policy makers in Africa and around the world make informed decisions about pursuing agricultural intensification sustainably.
A longtime customer of Esri software, Conservation International uses ArcGIS to collect and map data for its many projects throughout the world.
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