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China's Big Earth Data Efforts to Promote UN SDGs: Report

Sep 27, 2019

China's research and application of big Earth data will help addressing challenges in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to a new report released online by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

As the SDGs constitute a vast system that is complicated, diverse, dynamic, and interconnected, effective assessment and monitoring of each and all SDG targets and indicators are essential to ensure the achievement of SDGs, according to the report titled "Big Earth Data in Support of the Sustainable Development Goals."

Currently, only 45 percent of indicators are supported by both methods and data, which will hamper the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for SDGs, said the report that was created by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

The CAS addresses these challenges and concentrates on five SDGs, and the continued effort to develop a big Earth data system will provide robust and complementary data services to support and improve SDG indicators, said the report.

Big Earth data is a new data-intensive research method that consists of big data with a spatial reference, including data related to land, oceans, the atmosphere, the human activities.

"The world must achieve the SDGS by 2030, which is extremely challenging in reality. We still face many challenges in leveraging big Earth data to support SDGs," the report said.

Due to the differences in innovative capabilities of information and network technologies as well as big Earth data, there are method gaps for SDG evaluation between different countries and regions.

"Many countries, particularly developing countries, have no roadmap for effectively carrying out scientific evaluation of SDGs," the report said.

By studying and developing a methodological system of big Earth data for SDG evaluation, it can assist member states of the UN at different developmental stages in reducing the differences in capabilities for SDG evaluation.

"China's effort on big Earth data applications in service of SDGs will likely be of interest to some other developing countries, particularly those lacking technological capabilities," the report said, noting that the research on big Earth data for SDGs is an important contribution of China towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. (Xinhua)

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