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Open AccessArticle

Seeing Sustainability from Space: Using Earth Observation Data to Populate the UN Sustainable Development Goal Indicators

1
Centre for Environment and Sustainability, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, UK
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Environment Department, National Physical Laboratory, Teddington TW11 0LW, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 5062; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11185062
Received: 30 July 2019 / Revised: 9 September 2019 / Accepted: 10 September 2019 / Published: 16 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
In 2015, member countries of the United Nations adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Sustainable Development Summit in New York. These global goals have 169 targets and 232 indicators based on the three pillars of sustainable development: economic, social, and environmental. However, substantial challenges remain in obtaining data of the required quality and quantity to populate these indicators efficiently. One promising and innovative way of addressing this issue is to use Earth observation (EO). The research reported here updates our original work to develop a Maturity Matrix Framework (MMF) for assessing the suitability of EO-derived data for populating the SDG indicators, with a special focus on those indicators covering the more social and economic dimensions of sustainable development, as these have been under-explored in terms of the contribution that can be made by EO. The advanced MMF 2.0 framework set out in this paper is based on a wide consultation with EO and indicator experts (semi-structured interviews with 38 respondents). This paper provides detail of the evolved structure of MMF 2.0 and illustrates its use for one of the SDG indicators (Indicator 11.1.1). The revised MMF is then applied to published work covering the full suite of SDG indicators and demonstrates that EO can make an important contribution to providing data relevant to a substantial number of the SDG indicators. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable development goals; indicators; earth observation (EO); maturity matrix framework sustainable development goals; indicators; earth observation (EO); maturity matrix framework
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Andries, A.; Morse, S.; Murphy, R.J.; Lynch, J.; Woolliams, E.R. Seeing Sustainability from Space: Using Earth Observation Data to Populate the UN Sustainable Development Goal Indicators. Sustainability 2019, 11, 5062.

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