Topic outline

This course seeks to provide a basic understanding of land-cover data and its use for monitoring progress towards the achievement of international agreed goals, such as Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15, with a practical focus on its Indicators 15.3.1 (proportion of land that is degraded over total land area) and 15.4.2 (including its subindicators: Mountain Green Cover Index and Proportion of degraded mountain land). 


This course is primarily intended for professionals working on:

  • Monitoring and reporting on SDG Indicators (in particular SDG 15.3.1 and 15.4.2).
  • Sustainable management of natural resources.

  • Main concepts of land cover and land-cover data.
  • Standards of land-cover information and applications developed for implementing these standards.
  • How land-cover change is used in calculating SDG Indicators 15.3.1 and 15.4.2.
  • Methodology of calculating and reporting on SDG Indicator 15.3.1.
  • Methodology of calculating and reporting on SDG Indicator 15.4.2

The course consists of 5 lessons, of approximately 35 mins duration each:

  • Lesson 1: Introduction to land cover and land-cover data
  • Lesson 2: Use of land cover for reporting using international standards
  • Lesson 3: Land-cover change as an indicator of land degradation
  • Lesson 4: Computing and reporting on SDG Indicator 15.3.1
  • Lesson 5: Computing and reporting on SDG Indicator 15.4.2

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Digital certification

This course offers certification. You will get your digital badge upon passing a final exam after completing the course and achieving a grade of at least 75%. Please click on the button below to complete the exam, or refer to our Certification section to learn more.

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  • Partners

    United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification Land Degradation Neutrality German Cooperation