In many rural areas of the world, agricultural value chains are key for improving food security and lifting small holder farmers out of poverty. A major problem is to increase crop production for markets in a sustainable and resilient way through improved farming practices, transport and storage conditions, processing facilities and market opportunities. Public and private investments can support this positive transformation of value chains, but investors lack proper data-based tools that can help to identify and prioritize interventions and evaluate the investments.
Tropical forests are rapidly degrading, endangering biodiversity, accelerating climate change and affecting local communities' livelihoods. International society has agreed to protect forests for the benefit of current and future generations. At global and national levels, several satellite-based forest monitoring systems are used, but with relatively coarse resolution. The role of the local community is underutilized, despite the fact that it is an important player in both monitoring and protecting these forests.
Industries are motivated to make their processes more climate neutral and circular. This implies a switch from fossil-based activities to bio-based activities keeping chains as short and efficient as possible. This triggers the search for feedstock within a local spatial range of existing facilities. Alternatively, the industry searches for locations to start new bio-based activities sourced by local biomass. The challenge is to find large amounts of biomass that are both cost efficient and adhere to sustainability standards.
Climate change is affecting European society. It intensifies floods, droughts, extreme temperatures, storms, water scarcity and sea level rise, substantially increasing the risk and impact of climate related events. With the EU Adaptation Strategy and more recently the European Green Deal, Europe is aiming at becoming more climate resilient and works towards a sustainable green transition. Achieving this ambition requires concerted actions on local to national level, supported by complementing activities at the European level. It also requires that climate adaptation is integrated into a broad range of sectoral policies.