Google and UN Environment Partner on Data for Global Goals
story highlights

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment) and Google have announced a partnership that combines environmental science and big data to expand knowledge on the impacts of human activity on global ecosystems.

The partnership will initially focus on freshwater ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes.

16 July 2018: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment) and Google have announced a partnership that combines environmental science and big data to expand knowledge on the impacts of human activity on global ecosystems. The partnership, launched during the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), will enable all countries to have equal access to the latest technology and information to support achievement of their environmental and development goals.

The platform will leverage Google’s cloud computing and earth observation public catalogs, while supporting government, NGO and public efforts to track specific environment- and development-related targets with a “user-friendly Google front-end.” Over the long term, the partnership seeks to establish a platform for open-source data and analysis of the SDGs.

In the long term, the partnership seeks to establish a platform for open-source data and analysis of the SDGs.

The partnership, though Google Earth Engine’s analysis and visualization tools, aims to fill gaps in data that can hinder environmental action. The partnership will initially focus on freshwater ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes. While such ecosystems account for only .01% of the world’s water, they provide habitat for almost 10% of known species and evidence points to a rapid loss freshwater biodiversity.

As part of the partnership, Google will: produce geospatial maps and data on water-related ecosystems by employing cloud computing technology; generate satellite imagery and statistics to assess the extent of change occurring to waterbodies; and ensure the data are accessible to enable countries to track changes, and prevent and reverse ecosystem loss.

The partnership will also focus on, inter alia, advocacy and capacity-building activities, and development of partnerships with other organizations, including the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). [UNEP Press Release] [Google Earth Engine]


related events


related posts