FAO home page
Links Partners Contacts
last update: October 2, 2013 1:48 PM
home page
Vulnerable ecosystems
Case studies
LCCS and the ISO Process
At present there is no internationally accepted land cover classification system. However, FAO has submitted LCCS for approval to become an international standard through the TC 211 technical committee of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

ISO is the world's largest developer of standards with a network of 147 national standards institutes with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.

Established in 1994, the ISO/TC 211 is responsible for developing International Standards and Technical Specifications for digital geographic information (such as used by geographic information systems) and geomatics (the measurement of the earth).

ISO/TC 211 has currently published nearly 40 International Standards and other deliverables and another set of 20 is under development or revision. The work of the committee has provided a solid state-of-the-art framework for establishing, documenting (including metadata), integrating, archiving, disseminating and interpreting measurements and data.

LCCS has the potential to become accepted as the international land cover classification standard thanks to its inherent flexibility, applicability to all climatic zones and environmental conditions, and compatibility with the existing classification systems.

LCCS has been submitted to ISO as two separate parts. The first, "Classification Systems - Part 1, Classification system structure" is generic standards for classification systems in general and the second "Classification Systems - Part 2, UN FAO - Land Cover Classification System LCCS Conceptual Basis and Registration of Classifiers" is specific standard for LCCS. These documents were given ISO numbers 19144-1 and 19144-2 respectively. This enables other organizations to establish other types of classification systems, including land cover classifications systems that are compliant with the generic standard but are compatible with LCCS.

The documents were submitted to TC211 for comment and vote as a committee draft in early 2006 and an "editing meeting" was held in May 2006. Editing was undertaken in 2007 based on comments recieved.

Part one is now a Draft International Standard (DIS) and part 2 is now a Committee Draft to be voted for registration as a DIS.

Food and Agriculture Organizations of UN United Nations Environment Programme Istituto Agronomico Oltremare (IAO) Italian Cooperation
For questions or comments, contact us  -  last update: October 2, 2013 1:48 PM