Where do I get support?

Please ensure you have reviewed the following materials for support:

  • The PRAIS user manual accessible here which can be used for supporting technical queries related to the operation of the PRAIS system, its tools and reporting functions
  • The PRAIS Reporting Manual and accompanying glossary which can be viewed here for any queries related to the reporting process, indicators and calculations

Should you still not have an answer to your question or need further support, please submit your requests to the PRAIS helpdesk here


Where are the PRAIS 4 missing features?

The main features for PRAIS reporting are already in place allowing Parties to begin the preparation of their national report but additional features will be added later to enhance the reporting process. These include:

  • Recalculation tools for Trends.Earth (based on the reporting of false positive/negative processes in the PRAIS spatial data viewer)

Please see the platform’s news feed to stay up to date on when these new features will be available.

Can I report offline or must I be connected to the internet?

PRAIS 4 is an online reporting system that connects to a cloud-hosted database and therefore it is a prerequisite to have an internet connection and web browser to access and use the reporting system while saving your data safely and securely.

It is possible however to export a static version of any web page in PRAIS, including the reporting forms, by exporting the page open on your web browser as a PDF document using the web browser’s print option. This can then be shared with colleagues as any normal PDF for review and comment.

If you expect any disruption to your internet service while using PRAIS, it is strongly recommended to save the reporting form you are working on regularly using the save button at the bottom of the web page. This will ensure you do not lose any unsaved work should there be a sudden disruption to your internet connection. In such an eventuality, it is advisable not to close the web browser and when the connection is restored, save the form immediately so that any unsaved changes can be committed to the online PRAIS database.


What’s new for the 2022 reporting process on strategic objective 1?

Under strategic objective 1, Parties continue to report estimates of SDG Indicator 15.3.1 Proportion of land that is degraded over total land area using three subindicators: SO 1-1 Trends in land cover, SO 1-2 Trends in land productivity or functioning of the land and SO 1-3 Trends in carbon stocks above and below ground (represented by Soil Organic Carbon stocks). SDG Indicator 15.3.1 remains a binary calculation of land condition (i.e. degraded or not degraded) based on the ‘One Out, All Out’ principle in which a significant reduction or negative change in any one of the three subindicators is considered to comprise land degradation.

However, the following innovations need to be noted:

  • An upgraded and improved version of the Good Practice Guidance for SDG Indicator 15.3.1 has been released; it incorporates a number of advances in the analytical methods for calculating SDG indicator 15.3.1 and its subindicators.
  • Parties have now the option to select a country-specific land cover legend that allows key degradation processes to be monitored and which can be harmonized with the seven UNCCD land cover classes.
  • Parties have now the option to identify areas of ‘false negative’ or of ‘false positive’ errors in the identification of land degradation. The PRAIS 4 platform allows for a full description of these sites, including their geographical locations, the delineation of their extents and the processes driving the false negative/false positive interpretations.
  • Parties have now the option in the PRAIS 4 platform to delineate the location and extent of their targets and related areas of implemented action (projects and initiatives on the ground), or to upload an existing spatial file (in vector format). Such location-based information can help track progress towards achieving LDN in a country by 2030, support the quantification of any remaining gaps and develop scenarios for closing those gaps.

The sources of default data remain unchanged, even though they have been updated by the data providers to the most recent available year. No new finer spatial resolution global datasets covering both the baseline and reporting periods are currently available.

What’s new for the 2022 reporting process on strategic objective 2?

Reporting on indicators SO 2-1 Trends in population living below the relative poverty line and/or income inequality in affected areas and SO 2-2 Trends in access to safe drinking water in affected areas remains largely unchanged. However, it is facilitated through the provision of default data derived from the SDG and the World Bank databases.

Additionally, a new indicator aimed at tracking Trends in the proportion of population exposed to land degradation disaggregated by sex will be tested during the 2022 reporting process. This new indicator aims at providing information about the proportion of male and female population exposed to land degradation, as a first step towards addressing the gender data gap on land degradation issues within the UNCCD reporting framework, as requested in decision 11/COP.14. The methodology uses the spatial distribution of the population or sub-population group (i.e., by sex) to establish its exposure to land degradation, as determined by indicator SO 1-4 Proportion of land that is degraded over total land area (i.e., SDG Indicator 15.3.1). National reporting is facilitated though the provision of default data derived from the WorldPop global dataset on population distributions, demographics and dynamics and the default indicator SO 1-4 estimates.

What’s new for the 2022 reporting process on strategic objective 3?

For the first time, Parties will report on strategic objective 3 using the indicator and monitoring framework adopted in decision 11/COP.14. This includes 3 indicators as follows:

  • SO 3-1 – Trends in the proportion of land under drought over the total land area: Indicator SO 3-1 describes the status of meteorological drought hazards using a globally accepted drought index, the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), classified into four drought intensity classes.
  • SO 3-2 – Trends in the proportion of the total population exposed to drought: Indicator SO 3-2 uses the spatial distribution of the population or sub-population group (i.e., by sex) to establish its exposure to drought, based on the location and extent of the drought intensity classes as determined by indicator SO 3-1.
  • SO 3-3 – Trends in the degree of drought vulnerability: Indicator SO 3-3 is based on a composite index, the Drought Vulnerability Index (DVI), which combines a set of vulnerability factors characterizing the inherent social, economic and infrastructural components of drought vulnerability. In order to address variability and limitations in capacity and data availability, Parties may opt to report using three tiers of vulnerability assessment requiring increasing numbers of datasets, higher spatial resolutions and sex-disaggregated data.

The Good Practice Guidance for National Reporting on UNCCD Strategic Objective 3 provides detailed guidance on how to calculate three indicators.

National reporting is facilitated through the provision of default data derived from the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC) Monitoring Product, the WorldPop global dataset on population distributions, demographics and dynamics, and the global DVI dataset of the European Commission Joint Research Centre.

What’s new for the 2022 reporting process on strategic objective 4?

Reporting on indicator SO4-2 Trends in abundance and distribution of selected species remains largely unchanged. Parties will still use the Red List Index(i.e. SDG indicator 15.5.1) as a metrics to assess overall changes in the extinction risk of groups of species.

Additionally, a new indicator aimed at tracking Trends in protected area coverage of important biodiversity areas will be tested during the 2022 reporting process. Protecting important sites for biodiversity is critical to halting the decline in biodiversity and ensuring long term and sustainable use of terrestrial natural resources. The metric Average proportion of Terrestrial Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) covered by protected areas (i.e. SDG Indicator 15.1.2b) shows temporal trends in the mean percentage of each important site for terrestrial biodiversity that is covered by designated protected areas.

National reporting on strategic objective 4 is facilitated though the provision of default data derived from the SDG database.

What’s new for the 2022 reporting process on strategic objective 5?

Several changes are introduced in reporting on Strategic Objective-5 Financial and non-Financial Resources to Support the Implementation of the Convention. It will be possible for Parties to report both in qualitative and quantitative manner through a tier-based approach and it will depend on the information available with each country Party. The improved version of the template captures in a more comprehensive way the wide range of financial and non-financial resources targeting desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD). Following new indicators are introduced:

SO5-4 Technology Transfer: The indicator aims to collect information on resources provided and/or received for technology transfer measures or activities. These activities include information on science and technology at regional or project level, including cooperation agreements between countries, policies and strategies implemented to support technology transfer in recipient countries and efforts to involve the private sector in transferring technologies to combat DLDD.

SO5-5 Future resources for activities related to the implementation of the Convention: This is a newly introduced qualitative indicator, with three questions, which encourages country Parties to reflect on future resource needs for the implementation of the Convention. Out of the three questions, one is dedicated to reporting on resources needed by Parties for the implementation of the Convention, including capacity building, technology transfer and financial needs.

The current SO5-3 indicator International and domestic private resources is a merger of previous two indicators Trends in number of co-financing partners (SO5-3) and Resources mobilized from innovative sources of finance including from the private sector ((SO5-4). The purpose of the merger is to have a single indicator with a broader scope. The last three indicators are introduced on testing basis.


My country submitted data and information on the indicators to the secretariat under the UNCCD 2018 reporting process. Do I need to resubmit this information?

Yes. During the 2018 reporting process, Parties reported data and information for the baseline period 2000–2015. During the 2022 reporting process, Parties will need to submit data and information for both the baseline and the reporting periods (i.e. 2000–2015 and 2016–2019 respectively).

This will afford country Parties the opportunity to potentially recalculate previously submitted national estimates and ensure comparability between the baseline and the reporting periods. Recalculations may be needed to accommodate advances in methodologies and data availability. For instance, given the evolution of the calculation methods presented in version 2 of the Good Practice Guidance for SDG Indicator 15.3.1 , it is recommended that previously submitted baseline estimates of all SO 1 indicators, including SDG Indicator 15.3.1, be recalculated and included in the national report to be submitted in 2022.

Default national estimates provided through the PRAIS forms have already been recalculated for country Parties using the new calculation methods. If opting to use national datasets, the key reasons for recalculation also need to be documented and reported using the dedicated form in the PRAIS 4 platform.

Why do I not have higher resolution default data than in 2018 in my 2022 report?

While higher spatial resolution satellite imagery has been in the public domain since the launch and operational production of imagery from the Copernicus Sentinel satellites of the European Commission in 2016, there is no compatible imagery at a comparable resolution prior to this time period. As the UNCCD reporting process adopts a progressive monitoring approach, measuring indicator change with respect to a 2000-2015 baseline, it is very important to have consistent observations over time and space so that true change can be inferred from the indicators rather than change as an artefact of variability in the monitoring methodology or input data. Therefore, it is not possible to provide consistent default data at Sentinel-like resolution for the entire baseline and reporting period and still be able to derive accurate information on progress in land indicators. It is preferable to maintain the coarser resolution of default data used in 2018 reporting for comparability and consistency with 2022 reporting.

How is the sex-disaggregated indicators’ default data for SO2-3 and SO3-2 sourced and prepared?

The unconstrained individual country datasets, in age-sex structures, from 2000 to 2019 have been provided by the WorldPop project as default data. The raw datasets can be found here. The data have been provided at a native resolution of 100m but, as they are formatted as age-sex structures, they have been pre-processed to merge the age component to derive seamless sex-disaggregated datasets per country per year for the entire world at 100m resolution. For the purposes of UNCCD reporting, they were aggregated to 300m resolution to match the resolution of the land degradation default data. This is also the resolution of the outputs for SO3-2.

If I don’t accept the default data in PRAIS, can I use alternative data for reporting?

Yes, the default data prefilled in the reporting forms in PRAIS can be accepted as is, modified or completely replaced with alternative data. As for geosptial indicators calculated through Trends.Earth, there are a number of options to use alternative datasets:

  • As an alternative to the default land cover data (namely the European Space Agency Climate Change Initiative Land Cover -ESA CCI-LC- products aggregated to the default UNCCD legend comprising seven broad classes), Parties will be able to calculate indicator SO 1-1 with national land cover data or to vary the level of aggregation of the default ESA CCI-LC classes to define a customized national land cover legend;
  • As an alternative to the default Land Product Dynamics product from the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Parties will be able to calculate indicator SO 1-2 with national land productivity data or with Trends.Earth Land Productivity, derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) data;
  • As an alternative to the default International Soil Reference and Information Centre (ISRIC) SoilGrids250m dataset and default land cover data (used to estimate changes in soil organic carbon stock), Parties will be able to calculate indicator SO 1-3 with custom soil organic carbon stock and/or land cover data;
  • As an alternative to the default Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC) Monitoring Product, Parties within 50°S and 50°N of the equator will be able to calculate indicator SO 3-1 with the Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Stations (CHIRPS) data, while also varying the time period and/or time lag used for the calculation of the Standardized Precipitation Index;
  • As an alternative to the Worldpop global dataset on population distributions, demographics and dynamics, Parties will be able to calculate indicators SO 2-3 and SO 3-2 with the Gridded Population of the World, version 4 (GPWv4). However, GPWv4 will not have annual sex-disaggregated population statistics typically producing them every five years.

What borders are being used and can we use our own?

PRAIS uses the United Nations map database which is a worldwide geospatial database consisting of country and geographic name information on a global scale. For cartographic representation and preparation of the default data, PRAIS uses polygons of countries taken from the United Nations Map 0 geodata which is suitable for 1:1 million scale representation and serves global mapping purposes as opposed to local mapping.

However, should Parties opt to use an alternative country border than that provided in PRAIS, they can upload a polygon directly to the PRAIS spatial data viewer. Parties are encouraged to engage with the Second Administrative Level Boundaries (SALB) programme of the Geospatial Information Section & Statistics Division when opting to use their own boundary. The programme’s objective is to promote accessible, interoperable and global data and information on subnational units and boundaries. Participation in the programme will ensure Member States of the United Nations will avail of a global repository of authoritative information and geospatial data about the administrative unit structure of countries down to the second subnational level, and through time. Parties should engage with the SALB program directly by sending an email to

In addition to a polygon of the country border, PRAIS also displays the United Nations Clear Map (hereinafter “Clear Map”) as a background reference web mapping service in the spatial viewer, provided by the United Nations Geospatial Information Section.This can be used in any mapping application and can be accessed here. Feedback is appreciated and should be sent directly to: Email: / Clear Map can be turned on and off in the Basemaps menu.

How is Total Land Area calculated in SO1-1?

Total land area is reported in five-yearly intervals in table SO1-1.T1 (National estimates of the total land area, the area covered by water bodies and total country area). For the default data, total land area is calculated as the sum of the land area in each terrestrial land cover class and is not based on official figures. Parties therefore might see slight discrepancies between the values reported in the default data and their national estimates. While Parties are welcome to report an alternative value for total land area, they should bear in mind that it must be the terrestrial area of the country only, i.e. not including water bodies, and that this value will drive other calculations in the reporting process, e.g. SDG Indicator 15.3.1 which calculates the proportion of degradation from the total land area reported in SO1-1.T1. If the default total land area is edited, Parties are encouraged to provide a national border and land cover dataset which correspond to the reported value, rerun all calculations in Trends.Earth and upload the results to PRAIS in the required format.

How do I recalculate geospatial indicators if I am not satisfied with the default data?

In line with decision 11/COP.14, Conservation International has further enhanced and expanded Trends.Earth to support the preparation and analysis of data for UNCCD national reporting in a format that can be automatically transferred to PRAIS.

Trends.Earth is a free and open-source tool for monitoring indicators of land change. More specifically, Trends.Earth supports:

  • The calculation of the SO 1 indicators, including SDG Indicator 15.3.1, following version 2 of the Good Practice Guidance for SDG Indicator 15.3.1;
  • The recalculation of SDG indicator 15.3.1, accounting for any reported false positive and false negative degradation processes;*
  • The calculation of indicator SO 2-3: Trends in the proportion of population exposed to land degradation, disaggregated by sex;
  • The calculation of the SO 3 indicators following the Good Practice Guidance for National Reporting on UNCCD Strategic Objective 3;
  • Access to global data sources, including default data sources for national reporting;
  • Integration of nationally or locally available data and nationally determined assumptions;
  • Data transfer to PRAIS. However the user who wishes the edit the default data or use national data in the reporting workflow has to use Trends.Earth, download the result locally and upload them to PRAIS using the Trends.Earth Archive Upload tool and in the Trends.Earth zip file format.*

* Tools or functionality still in development

How can I upload my own raster file to PRAIS?

You can replace any of the default raster layers in PRAIS in the spatial layer view and by clicking on the upload button next to any raster on the list. However, you will need to format your raster file before uploading it so that it is compliant with the dataset coding used by Trends.Earth. If your raster file is not formatted according to how Trends.Earth raster files are coded, the raster file will not render properly in the spatial data viewer of PRAIS. The raster file must be single band and in GeoTiff format. The Trends.Earth dataset coding can be found here

How are area calculations performed in PRAIS 4?

When you draw a polygon in the PRAIS spatial data viewer, the extent of that polygon is automatically calculated and populates the extent field of the respective reporting form for the vector layer. 

PRAIS uses PostGIS open-source technology as the geospatial engine behind the area calculations.

The area calculation function for a polygon starts by converting the geometry of the polygon into a geography type format. By using a geography, PostGIS doesn't project the polygon onto a flat surface, but keeps it on a round earth surface (a spheroid). This way, the functions for areas, distances, etc. take more time (as the calculation is more complicated), but they are far more accurate. Also, because PostGIS use geographies, the extent is calculated in m2 and not decimal degrees. The extent value is divided by 1 000 000 to obtain the final result, in km2.