The OECD Secretariat and the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) organised a joint workshop on "The use of new technologies for agri-environmental indicators to support effective policy monitoring, evaluation and design" from 29 May to 1 June 2018 at Säätytalo (House of Estates), Helsinki, Finland.
Information technologies - such as high resolution satellite imagery and agricultural technologies that enable control of farm equipment and application of agricultural inputs at high precision - are already shaping agriculture around the globe. These technologies are generating “Big Data”, i.e. data being produced at accelerated rates and at very large scales. The workshop provided participants with an overview of the state of the art in terms of the use of agricultural “Big Data” to form robust and readily interpretable indicators that can be used for the monitoring, evaluation and design of agri-environmental policies. In providing this overview, key obstacles and challenges, not only in terms of technical issues but also in institutional and legal aspects, were identified and strategies to address them were discussed. Specific sessions on the potential of big data sources for creating indicators in the topics of water quality, nutrient balances, soil erosion and biodiversity were also organised. These topics reflect OECD AEIs largest needs for improvement and also high potential for developing indicators in a systematic way.
The workshop contributed to a project led by the OECD Joint Working Party on Agriculture and the Environment on updating and improving the OECD agri-environmental indicators that the OECD publishes on a regular basis.
For further information on this workshop, please contact the Trade and Agriculture Directorate (OECD).