The Land Degradation Surveillance Framework (LDSF) was developed at the World Agroforestry Centre for landscape level assessments and studies of carbon dynamics, vegetation changes, soil functional properties and soil hydrological properties. The LDSF has been implemented in more than 20 countries in Africa to date, including the CIAT-led [Africa Soil Information Service (AfSIS)]("http://worldagroforestry.org/sites/default/files/afsisSoilHealthTechSpecs_v1_smaller.pdf"), which was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The methodology has been shown to be appropriate for studies of land health and land degradation risk, as well as for assessing soil organic carbon dynamics in rangeland systems.
The AfSIS project was launched in 2009 and had as one of its principal goals to develop up-to-date maps on soil functional properties for a total area covering some 17.5 million square km of continental sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and almost 0.6 million square kilometers of Madagascar. This is an area that encompasses more than 90% of Africa’s human population, in 42 countries. A set of 60 sentinel sites were surveyed and sampled between February 2010 and the end of October 2012 in field campaigns led by scientists from the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and the Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). These sites were selected based on a stratified random sampling approach, using the recently revised Köppen-Geiger climate classification for stratification of sites.