Global Agro-Ecological Zones

Food and Agricultural Organiztion of the United Nations| Source |

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) have collaboratively developed the Agro-Ecological Zones (AEZ) modeling framework and databases since the 1980s. AEZ applies established land evaluation principles to assess natural resources, considering plant characteristics, climate, and soil requirements to identify suitable agricultural land use options. It aids in making informed decisions about crop selection, considering productivity, sustainability, and resilience to climate variations. The AEZ framework aligns with several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by providing insights into agricultural risks, irrigation demand, and crop adaptation options.

GAEZ v4 database offers a wealth of spatial indicators and results from agro-ecological crop analysis, presented in a 5 arc-minute raster format. Some maps, focusing on AEZ classification, soil suitability, terrain slopes, and land cover, are available at a higher resolution of 30 arc-seconds. The update integrates 2010 baseline data, including land cover, a globally harmonized soil database, terrain details, protected areas, and high biodiversity zones. Climatic conditions incorporate historical data from 1961-2010 and future climate simulations based on IPCC AR5 Earth System Model outputs. The spatial data are categorized into six themes: Land and Water Resources, Agro-climatic Resources, Agro-climatic Potential Yield, Suitability and Attainable Yield, Actual Yields and Production, and Yield and Production Gaps.