“Open Data and Satellite Technologies: opportunities for journalists involved in agrarian and land topics” was held in Kyiv.
Remote land sensing. Ukraine is significantly behind other countries, particularly the EU, regarding crop productivity and profitability of the agrarian sector. The main causes include ignoring climatic features and soil condition, insufficient state policy for supporting agricultural producers, and crop rotation violations causing soil depletion. In the EU countries and North America, such problems are resolved through satellite monitoring.
This technology is affordable – cosmic imagery can be found free of charge in open access. They are updated every 5-6 days and provide a large amount of instant and dynamic (if relevant observations are kept) information – on deforestation, areas of various crops, actual use of state land, commercial development of conservation areas, directions of growing agglomerations, air condition, climatic changes, number of harvests per year, state of irrigation systems, location of fires, frost injuries of winter crops, etc., and crop forecasts.
At present, satellite monitoring is being used in Ukraine by commercial institutions only. For the needs of public institutions, it was first piloted under the World Bank and EU Program “Supporting Transparent Land Governance in Ukraine”. The methodology for this technology is being drafted to be further proposed to the government.
Open data use. There are several official open data bases in Ukraine. They allow any person to independently analyze the situation in the land governance and agrarian sector. The Land Governance Monitoring, created under the World Bank Project, is the most comprehensive database on land relations. Sixty-five indicators, systematized by rubrics, can be used by journalists to prepare publications, create diagrams and infographics.
Efficient land governance. Improving land governance efficiency in Ukraine is a pre-condition for economic growth. The land reform is directed at (1) land market operability (which includes launch of agricultural land market, implementation of financial tools, and enhancement of credit support mechanisms), (2) efficient Land Cadastre and Registry of property rights for real estate, (3) establishing institutional basis (in particular, a unified land governance system), (4) transparent and improved service delivery, and (5) improved state land governance and decentralization.
The components and progress of the Program “Supporting Transparent Land Governance in Ukraine” were presented.