Using Earth observation to advance Agenda 2030: GEO summit in Canberra
Canberra, Australia – The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) held its Ministerial Summit the first week of November 2019. The GEO community is increasingly focused on getting timely information and actionable geospatial data into the hands of decision-makers.
Mr. Sasha Alexander, UNCCD Policy Officer, moderated a plenary session on Earth observations for monitoring and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This included a presentation from Ms. Claire Melamed, CEO of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data – a network that brings together governments, private sector and civil society to harness and leverage data and technology towards achieving the SDGs. Dr. Fang Chen, chief scientist of Digital Belt and Road Platform of CAS Big Earth Data Program, discussed China’s new cloud service that supports data sharing and SDG policymaking.
The main objective of this session was to provide guidance on actions for GEO to advance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The discussion focused on the new methods and tools needed to enhance the use of EO for the SDGs, and how can these instruments can be coupled with coordinated capacity development to enhance their adoption and sustained use. The UNCCD also organized a side event on the GEO Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Initiative to raise awareness on the potential of EO data to be used at the national level. Awards were given to Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, for developing robust land degradation mapping methods and to Conservational International for the Trends.Earth tool for accessing big EO datasets.