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China's research and application of big Earth data will help address 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 is essential to the SDGs’ being met, according to the report titled "Big Earth Data in Support of the Sustainable Development Goals."

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

In addressing these challenges CAS concentrates on five SDGs in expectation that its 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 and 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.

Study and development of a methodological system of big Earth data for SDG evaluation can assist UN member states 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.

Source: CAS

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