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Mapping Biophysical Factors that Influence Agricultural Production and Rural Vulnerability combines rural population distribution data contained in the global rural population database for the year 2000 (FAO, 2005) with methods and results of the Global agro-ecological assessment for agriculture in the 21st Century (Fischer et al., 2002), in order to estimate the distribution of the world's rural population by agricultural suitability class, land use category and type of farming system. Refinements in GIS databases and analysis techniques have been developed collaborativelyby FAO and IIASA in the project Improving Methods for Poverty and Food Insecurity Mapping and its Use at Country Level, which was jointly implemented by FAO, UNEP/GRID-Arendal and CGIAR centers and funded by the Government of Norway. Mapping Biophysical Factors that Influence Agricultural Production and Rural Vulnerability considers the constraints imposed by environmental conditions at different levels of human input, evaluates agricultural production potential of the world's land area at a resolution of 5 arc-minutes (about 85 square kilometre at the equator), and reports on rural habitation in relation to agricultural production potential, land use patterns and farming systems.