The 7th Digital Belt and Road Conference concluded in Beijing on September 6, 2023. The three-day event brought together about 250 experts from some 20 countries to explore utilizing digital technologies to facilitate the sustainable development of the Belt and Road region.
The conference was hosted by the Digital Belt and Road Program (DBAR), and jointly organized by the International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals (CBAS), together with the Aerospace Information Research Institute (AIR) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
DBAR is a decade-long science program which was launched in 2016 by Chinese scientists. It aims to improve scientific cooperation, to facilitate data-driven decision-making and policy processes, and to promote collective development in the Belt and Road countries.
The year 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which has contributed to economic development and improvement of people's livelihood in many parts of the world, and also the mid-point of the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which still faces serious challenges and difficulties.
By 2023, DBAR has established nine Working Groups and nine International Centers of Excellence, with 59 partners spreading across four continents that are working on six SDGs.
Based on its big data platform, DBAR has developed widely recognized data products to address sustainable development challenges in eight fields: agriculture and food security; climate and environment; disaster risk; natural and cultural heritage; cities and infrastructure; water resources and water security; coastal zones and oceans; and mountains and polar cold regions.
Data support is an indispensable part of the monitoring, evaluation and research of the SDGs, said GUO Huadong, chairman of the DBAR.
"Based on the methods and technological innovation of Big Earth Data, DBAR has served the sustainable development of BRI countries through sharing data, technology and knowledge," Guo said.
A Beijing Declaration on Digital Belt and Road was released at the closing ceremony, calling for continued efforts toward empowering Belt and Road countries with technological innovation platforms and capabilities.