Home Articles Spatial Technologies to Establish Framework of Illicit Crop Monitoring in Afghanistan

Spatial Technologies to Establish Framework of Illicit Crop Monitoring in Afghanistan

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Dr. Shirish Ravan
Remote Sensing and GIS Expert
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,
Email: [email protected]

Hakan Demirbuken
Regional Illicit Crop Monitoring Expert
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Email: [email protected]

In 2006, illicit cultivation of Opium poppy in Afghanistan provided 92% of the total supply of opium to the world. The monitoring and estimation of illicit crop cultivation is, therefore, crucial in planning counter-narcotics activities. UNODC has developed methodology for monitoring of the opium poppy cultivation in entire country. The method is based on use of spatial technologies such as remote sensing, GIS and GPS within statistical sampling framework. These technologies help to provide robust estimates of poppy cultivation despite the limited access to the fields due to terrain conditions, unfavourable security situation, small size of poppy fields and short cycle of poppy crops. This paper presents a methodology for monitoring illicit crops in Afghanistan. Discussions are provided on usage of GIS to prepare sampling framework designed to cover large country and collection/organization of ground truth information, usage of moderate resolution data to create a sampling frame, and high resolution data to identify illicit crops. The paper also describes statistical techniques used to extrapolate of results at province level and statistical amendments to provide robust