Resource Watch: new database
The World Resources Institute has launched Resource Watch, an online tool for accessing and visualising data about resource use and sustainability issues around the world.
The site contains over 200 data sets, most of which you can overlay on a map of the world. The Planet Pulse section gives near-real-time data on a variety of issues, including crop and vegetation health (shown in the figure below), forest clearing, food insecurity, floods and droughts. You can set email alerts or create a custom dashboard to track the issues that you are most interested in.
Access Resource Watch here and read their introductory blog post here. See also the Foodsource resource Food systems and contributions to other environmental problems.
While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.