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China Sets Up the World's First SDGs Big Data Research Institution

On September 6, 2021, the International Research Center for Big Data for Sustainable Development was established in Beijing. This is the world's first international scientific research institution to serve the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with big data.

The "2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" refers to a document with 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 specific goals as the core content adopted by 193 member states at the 70th United Nations General Assembly. The 17 sustainable development goals aim to comprehensively solve the development problems of the three dimensions of society, economy and environment in a comprehensive manner, so as to enable mankind to move towards sustainable development in an all-round way.

Problems such as lack of data, unbalanced development, linkages between goals and mutual constraints are becoming the main challenges for the realization of SDGs. The global outbreak of the COVID-19 in 2020 throws SDGs into a more severe situation as scheduled. This puts forward a higher demand for technological innovation To this end, the Sustainable Development Big Data International Research Center will establish a global sustainable development goal monitoring and evaluation system to provide data sharing, scientific and technological support, and decision-making support for relevant UN agencies and member states.

GUO Huadong, director of the center and academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, introduced that big earth data is big data in the field of earth science with spatial attributes. It also has a strong temporal and spatial correlation and physical correlation, as well as the controllability of data generation methods and sources. Currently, the big earth data widely used in SDGs research mainly includes satellite remote sensing data, sensor network data, trajectory data, socioeconomic statistics, opinion and behavior data, transaction data, and survey data. From the perspective of the role played by big earth data in SDGs research, big earth data can further increase the coverage of monitoring indicators through the production of new data sets, and provide more timely data to fill and reconstruct the gaps in the time series. On this basis, the SDG indicator monitoring results with finer spatio-temporal resolution are obtained.


The Sustainable Development Big Data International Research Center will establish a sustainable development big data information platform system; carry out SDG indicator monitoring and evaluation scientific research; develop and operate a series of sustainable development scientific satellites; build scientific and technological innovation to promote sustainable development think tanks; and provide education and training for developing countries.

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