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Earth Observation and geospatial information can be an enabler for the implementation of the SDGs, belives Barbara Ryan

In an exclusive interview with GeoBuiz, Barbara Ryan, Director, Group on Earth Observations talks about use of Geospatial information for the furthering the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Earth observation and geospatial information can be an enabler or facilitator for the implementation of the SDGs. We have a big challenge to make sure that those statistical organizations are relying on earth observations. For the sustainable development goals, we are working with another global. framework which is being managed by the UN-GGIM. Frameworks are already there but they need to be fully developed and better employed and supported. We have the potential access to more data now about the Earth than we have had before. But much of that data is still locked up in archives. GEO is advocating broad open data to unleash the power of earth observations. If public resources money went into building the satellites then the data need to be similarly released broadly and openly. Governments should not be charging their citizens for data that those citizens have already paid for. There are lots of training programs going on capacity development to ensure success of SDGs. We are trying to downscale what we are doing globally to the regional level. We need to get together for a better understanding of each other’s role and responsibilities and ongoing efforts. We need to reach out to a little bit more than we have done in terms of collaboration especially in developing countries. The geospatial community needs to work more closely with developing countries to help refine investment to get more pay off. It’s a start to open up data within national boundaries. GEO is advocating that we need to go much broader if we are going to address the SDGs. Countries could do a better job in making their data available.