Geographic Information System at IITA: Mapping the Path to a Sustainable Future

World Meteorological Day is celebrated yearly to raise awareness about the importance of weather, climate, and water resources for our planet. This year’s theme, “The Future of Weather, Climate, and Water Across Generations,” emphasizes the need to take a long-term approach to managing our planet’s resources.

It is essential to recognize that weather, climate, and water are interconnected and affect everything from food security to public health. Climate change is one of the most significant challenges facing our planet today, and it profoundly impacts agriculture. It also affects weather patterns, such as droughts, floods, and extreme weather events, which can adversely impact agriculture. In many parts of the world, agriculture is the primary source of livelihood, and any disruption in this sector can have severe consequences.

A Natural phenomenon such as climate cannot be controlled, but at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), one of the essential software tools for managing weather and climate resources is the Geographic Information System (GIS). GIS technology is used to analyze and manage geospatial data, including weather patterns and climate data, and predict future weather patterns.

In an exclusive interview with radio IITA, Basil Akwarandu, Senior Research Supervisor at the Geographic Information System (GIS) unit of IITA, emphasized the role that GIS plays in eradicating poverty and increasing sources of livelihood effectively, “it is not idle to begin to grow crops in an area without an idea of its viability,” he said.

The GIS aids IITA in making informed decisions about crop management, irrigation, and other agricultural practices. It can also help identify areas at high risk of climate-related disasters and aid in disaster management and mitigation. It is essential to prioritize sustainable development to ensure that future generations inherit a healthy planet.

World Meteorological Day is an excellent opportunity to reflect on the importance of weather, climate, and water resources for our planet. It is essential to recognize the impact of climate change on agriculture and prioritize using GIS technology to manage and analyze climate data. By working together, we can create a sustainable future for future generations.

Contributed by Jamila Mohammed-Audu