To reach the objectives of GLCN a number of activities are being
implemented. These include:
Harmonization of land cover definitions and classification systems.
The Land Cover Classification
System (LCCS) is rapidly being adopted by both national and international
organizations and initiatives.
Standardization of global land cover baseline datasets.
GLCN is involved in numerous global, regional and national initiatives
and projects related to land cover and environmental databases
Provision of database structure and maintenance guidelines.
Supply of, and access to, methodology and software.
GLCN has developed a number of
applications to facilitate mapping activities and ensure the harmonization
and compatibility between local, national and regional products.
Creation of a global land cover meta-database.
Awareness, training and capacity building at the local, national and
A key area to the success and continuity of GLCN activities has been the
importance given to training and
the development of national capacity in the methodologies and applications
required to undertake, maintain, archive and disseminate land cover data
and information. This process has been mainly
achieved through regional
and national workshops.
Provision of advisory services on land cover classification, mapping
GLCN activities are supported by "Topic Centres" which are incubators
of the GLCN methodology and have a number of functions, such as
providing assistance to all land cover mapping and monitoring projects;
advising on land cover mapping methodologies; acting as neutral international
clearinghouses; developing regional products, and disseminating information
on products and services, databases
and meta-databases. These units also carry out activities
of software and methodology development,
research on the linkages between land cover and land use; development of
socio-economic and biophysical indicators; assisting in modelling and
applications, and the development of specific products requested by end
Function as an international, politically neutral and not-for-profit
clearinghouse for land cover information at global and regional levels.
Development of institutional technical networks and promotion of national
and regional collaboration.
GLCN subprogrammes already include the AFRICOVER and the ASIACOVER
initiatives and other networks are currently being developed including
those for West Africa, Southern Africa, Central and Latin America as
well as for the Middle East. During this process GLCN assists and integrates
with other initiatives to ensure that a broad and diverse community is fully
engaged in the development, application and use of the output.
Development of effective communication links among relevant organizations,
Activities are also supported through the development of regional and
national networks of collaborating institutions and individuals with the
assistance of regional and national focal points. Many national and
regional institutions also provide assistance to other stakeholders within
their region in the form of training and data.
The success of the GLCN project can be measured by a number of factors
including the wide variety of end users, the number of requests for data,