A scene at the BRICS forum [IMAGE: CBAS]

The BRICS Forum on Big Data for Sustainable Development was held both in Beijing and online on April 26, 2022. The two-day event was co-hosted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC), the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), and the Indian National Science Academy (INSA).

Zhang Yaping, Vice President of CAS, Jonathan Jansen, President of the ASSAf, Luiz Davidovich, President of the ABC, Alexander Sergeev, President of the RAS, and Narinder Kumar Mehra, Vice President of the INSA, attended the opening ceremony and delivered speeches in person or virtually.

The forum will provide an important platform for BRICS scientists, engineers, policy makers and representatives of relevant international organizations to share knowledge, technology, and experience, said Zhang in his opening remarks, entrusted by CAS President Hou Jianguo. The forum was also an effective means for the BRICS science community to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in sustainable development and implement the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Professor Guo Huadong, Director General of the International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals (CBAS) and Professor Arutyun I. Avetisyan, Deputy President of the RAS, both gave keynote presentations, with the respective titles of “Big Data in Facilitating Sustainable Development Goals” and “Sustainable Development Model for Big Data Technologies”.

The CBAS released data products for BRICS countries at the forum, which are expected to provide support for BRICS countries to carry out research on relevant sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The forum held five parallel sessions on topics including food security and poverty alleviation, digital economy, urban development, climate actions and disaster reduction, and biodiversity conservation.

The BRICS forum was proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping during his remarks at the 13th BRICS Summit last year, with the aim of promoting sustainable development in BRICS countries through international cooperation in science, technology, and innovation.

Representatives of BRICS Academies of South Africa, Brazil, Russia, and India lauded the convening of the forum in their speeches, proposed to boost cooperation in the field of big data for sustainable development and strengthen monitoring and evaluation of SDGs so as to jointly advance the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The concerted efforts of BRICS Academies will forge a technological toolbox addressing the risks and challenges, promote digital development, and build a bridge for exchanges and communication between BRICS countries, with a common goal of drawing a blueprint for a community with a shared future for mankind, said Zhang.

Scientists from UNESCO’s Beijing Office, the Committee on Data of the International Science Council (CODATA), the World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC), the Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research of Finland, and the Climate Change Research Strategies Center under the National Research Council of Thailand attended the forum in person or online.

The forum was sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China, the China Association for Science and Technology, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and was hosted by the CBAS and CAS’s Aerospace Information Research Institute

The forum provided an academic platform for over 400 BRICS scientists, engineers, policy-makers, stakeholders, and representatives from relevant international organizations to explore how to use big data to address regional and global challenges to sustainable development and to lend impetus to the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda through international cooperation in science, technology, and innovation.

Source: Chinese Academy of Sciences

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