Towards the SDGs: Earth observation for sustainable development

Ian Coady (Department for International Development)

Earth Observation for Sustainable Development Earth observations from satellites are essential tools for promoting sustainable development within communities around the world. The complexity and diversity of the indicators has highlighted that statistical data alone cannot monitor and deliver the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Only through the application of earth observations is it possible to deliver goals such as sustainable cities, life on water and life on land goals that the OECD show are not getting the same level of government funding as poverty, hunger and wealth. This only increases the need for other data sources to achieve these goals. Although there is an increased understanding of the requirement for earth observation within the sustainable development agenda, the international work programmes on earth observation for the SDGs have tended to focus on developing methods, rather than delivering outcomes that can inform policy. This presentation will consider integration of earth observation data into the sustainable development goals as an end-to-end process, outlining the strategic, operational and policy requirements for delivering outcomes and impact within the sustainable development agenda. It will look at programmes to build earth observation capability in developing countries and will link these to use cases demonstrating the value of that data in not only monitoring, but meeting the sustainable development goals. Finally, it will consider how requirement for earth observations fits into the wider context of international work programmes on building geospatial capability, and will highlight key challenges needing to be addressed to achieve the sustainable development agenda.