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2020 Report on Big Earth Data in Support of the Sustainable Development Goals Released

Sep 27, 2020

The report on "Big Earth Data in Support of the Sustainable Development Goals (2020)" was released on September 26, 2020 by the Chinese government at a video-conference on Poverty Eradication and South-South Cooperation, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.

Drafted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the report showcases China's efforts of using innovation-driven technologies to implement the 2030 Agenda, and in particular, the prospect of utilizing Big Earth Data for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of SDGs.

The report focuses on six SDGs including Zero Hunger (SDG2), Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG6), Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG11), Climate Action (SDG13), Life below Water (SDG14), and Life on Land (SDG15). The case studies present the use of Big Earth Data for developing data products, new evaluation methodologies and models to monitor progress and inform policy-making at local, national, regional, and global scales.

It opens a new avenue of integrating advanced technologies and methods such as big data and artificial intelligence to facilitate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda within the United Nations Technology Facilitation Framework (TFM).

GUO Huadong, CAS academician and chief scientist of the CAS-launched Big Earth Data Science Engineering Project (CASEarth) said that the SDG indicator system covers a wide range of topics and require a long period of study, and the indicators are interdependent and integrated.

"To clarify the relationships between the SDG indicators, it is necessary to establish objective and effective indicator monitoring and evaluation models, as well as technical methods", he said.

ZHANG Yaping, Vice President of CAS, said that CAS has been committed to leveraging S&T workforce, through the CASEarth project, to explore how Big Earth Data can be utilized for the realization of SDGs, and therefore to provide solutions and support, for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda within the framework of TFM.

ZHANG affirmed that CAS will continue, along with international science communities, to address the new demands and challenges faced by the mankind in the pursuit of a more sustainable future.

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