How a trilateral effort is using Esri tools to protect the environment
On June 26th, 2020, the annual Council Session of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) will virtually bring together Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada's minister of environment and climate change, Mexico’s secretary of environment and natural resources, Víctor Manuel Toledo, and United States Environmental Protection Agency administrator Andrew Wheeler to discuss shared North American environmental priorities for 2021–2025. Their work with the CEC, completed in collaboration with subject matter experts and other stakeholders, is about enhancing trilateral cooperation to conserve and protect our air, lakes and oceans, and to preserve important biodiversity across North America.
Under the new Environmental Cooperation Agreement between the three countries, priority areas include the protection and conservation of at-risk wild fauna and flora, the conservation of the ecological integrity of specially protected natural areas and addressing transboundary environmental issues to promote clean air, water and soil.
I am very proud that Esri technology is being used for this important work, including ArcGIS 3D Analyst and ArcGIS Spatial Analyst.
The CEC’s North American Land Change Monitoring System (NALCMS) is a collaboration among the remote sensing, mapping, natural resource and conservation agencies of these three countries. NALCMS’s function is to monitor changes in continental land cover. The land cover products made available through this joint effort are tools that will assist the countries in their work on these newly identified priorities.
These map products provide vital information for land management decisions at the local, regional and national levels. Detailed land cover maps reveal changes over time and inform planning and conservation strategies. Land cover data has a variety of applications, including climate modelling, carbon sequestration analysis, wildlife habitat mapping, hydrologic models, disaster management, ecosystem services analysis, water quality assessments, deforestation mitigation and urban planning.
An example of one of CEC’s land cover map products, created as part of the North American Land Change Monitoring System.
Environmental protection requires all of us and the CEC wanted researchers, environmental groups, government agencies and anyone else who is interested, to be able to easily access this information at no cost. The trick was helping people to find that information. To help with this, the CEC developed an ArcGIS StoryMaps story and made it available in English, French and Spanish. Since being made public on February 20th, 2020, it has had 3,396 visits.
Recently the CEC has learned of Esri’s Living Atlas and has uploaded its most recent data there. Even more people will now be able to see it here.
To learn more about the meetings, visit the CEC website and read the agenda.