In 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by the United Nations Member States. The aim of this agenda was to detail a blueprint for peace and prosperity for the people and planet, now and into the future. At its core were 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests. - UN Division for Sustainable Development Goals
Within each of the SDGs, there are a series of targets and indicators set to help achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda. SDG 14 focuses on "Life Below Water," aims to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. SDG 14 has 14 targets, each with indicators for reporting on progress.
The indicators for the SDG targets have 3 tiers of readiness:
- Tier 1: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, and data are regularly produced by countries for at least 50 per cent of countries and of the population in every region where the indicator is relevant.
- Tier 2: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, but data are not regularly produced by countries.
- Tier 3: No internationally established methodology or standards are yet available for the indicator, but methodology/standards are being (or will be) developed or tested.
GEO and the SDGs
As part of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Work Programme, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is one of three priority engagement areas, which also includes the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Paris Climate Agreement.
Earth observations, geospatial data, and derived information play insightful roles in monitoring targets, planning, tracking progress, and helping nations and stakeholders make informed decisions, plans, and on-going adjustments that will contribute toward achieving the SDGs. Combined with demographic and statistical data, these sources enable nations to analyze and model conditions, create maps and other visualizations, evaluate impacts across sectors and regions, monitor change over time in a consistent and standardized manner, and improve accountability.
GEO Blue Planet and SDG Target 14.1
GEO Blue Planet contributed to the drafting of the methodology for the eutrophication indicators of SDG target 14.1 - By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution. This methodology was approved by the Inter-agency and Expert Group on SDG Indicators and the indicator has been upgraded from a tier 3 to a tier 2 indicator.
GEO Blue Planet is currently working with Esri to produce statistics for the global indicators for eutrophication so the data can be included in the 2020 SDG report. GEO Blue Planet and Esri are also developing application dashboards on satellite-derived chlorophyll-a for UN countries to assist with the identification of potential eutrophication hot spots.