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Theme 4


Monitoring and assessing the food-water-climate sustainability for informing policy-making towards sustainable development.

Food-Water-Climate Sustainability Monitoring Assessment, and Prediction:

  • Harnessing Data

  • Theories

  • AI

Ying’s lab has led the satellite remote sensing aspects towards poverty/children malnutrition targeting and prediction. These novel SIF datasets were subsequently used as major input for poverty/malnutrition targeting, mapping and monitoring in FtF countries in Africa designated by USAID (McBride et al., 2021, Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy; Browne et al., 2021, PLOS ONE).

In collaboration with Christopher Barrett, along with rangeland scientists and environmental biologists, we are currently utilizing multi-scale and multi-source (e.g., SIF, hyperspectral, microwave, etc) remote sensing data to evaluate “Rangeland Health and Index-Based Livestock Insurance” and identify “Local-to-Global Win-Win Solutions for Human Health and Sustainability through Infectious Disease Control”

Carbon Monitoring and MRV in Eastern Africa (EA). Develop the first CMS prototype in EA that integrates “bottom-up” land model simulations constrained by multiple satellite observations and “top-down” carbon inversion to quantify carbon budgets at the 0.5° x 0.625° resolution spatial resolution, a resolution preferred by policy makers. Under this project, and also in collaboration with economists in IFPRI, we utilized our novel SIF datasets for impact evaluation of the Sustainable Land Management Project (SLMP) in Ethiopia, one of the world’s most ambitious restoration efforts to date.

Agriculture and water sustainability in Northwestern China. A recent study in Ying’s lab found that massive crop expansion in northwestern China (NWC) in the past two decades has led to a secular region-wide terrestrial water storage (TWS) depletion, threatening agriculture and water sustainability in this area:

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