Sustainable Development Goals

The Ad Hoc Team on Sustainable Development Goals

At the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Summit on September 25th, 2015, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, fight inequality, and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.

Because Earth observations provide critical data for official statistics that help address many of the SDGs, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is committed to organizing and realizing the potential of those data to advance the 2030 Agenda for the benefit of society through GEO Initiative 18, GI-18: Earth Observation in Service of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development). 

To help illustrate the primary SDGs to which Earth observations contribute and show a few specific examples, GEO produced a compelling 4-page leaflet, entitled: Earth Observations and Geospatial Information: Supporting Official Statistics in Monitoring the SDGs*.


Earth Observations & SDGs

Examples from the leaflet include how Earth observations contribute to:

  • SDG-2 (Zero Hunger) via crop monitoring
  • SDG-6 (Clean Water & Sanitation) via population density and wastewater leakage data,
  • SDG-11 (Sustainable Cities & Communities) via air quality data
  • SDG-15 (Life on Land) via forest cover data from satellites 

Click the images below for details on those examples, or take a look at the flyer itself.















Within CEOS, the “space arm” of GEO, we focus our coordination efforts around satellite Earth observations, which also contribute to the SDGs in specific ways.

At the 31st Meeting of our Strategic Implementation Team (SIT-31), we emphasized our role in supporting the UNSDG process:

Decision 3: The CEOS way forward on the UNSDGs will be undertaken in conjunction with GEO & the UN Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM), supplemented by a top-down dialogue with relevant UN Agencies and with individual CEOS Agencies making connections within their governments.

A number of programs implemented by CEOS Agencies, at various scales, are already showing the high value and contribution of Earth observation to help monitor some key goals and indicators.

We will use this webpage as a means to highlight how our Agencies will work together to use satellite Earth observations to help reach some of these goals. 

More coming soon!


*GEO leaflet produced for a dedicated side-meeting at the 47th Session of the UN Statistical Commission (Statistical-Geospatial Integration Forum) at the Geospatial Information and Earth Observations: Supporting Official Statistics in Monitoring the SDGs Session on March 7th, 2016 in New York City.