Two side events held in preparation for the United Nations Statistical Commission 52nd Session included discussion of the use of georeferenced population data in supporting efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at global, national, and subnational levels. On February 16, CIESIN director Robert Chen served as a panelist in the virtual event, “Working to Improve Timeliness and Granularity of SDG data: Progress Made in the Data for Now Initiative.” Organized by the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD) and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), the side event drew more than 190 participants from around the world. Chen highlighted progress made by the POPGRID Data Collaborative to improve access to timely, internationally comparable data on human population, settlements, and infrastructure by National Statistical Offices (NSOs) and other users.
On February 25, Prof. Forrest Stevens of the University of Louisville participated in the side event, “The SDGs Geospatial Roadmap,″ organized by the UN Working Group on Geospatial Information (WGGI). The event included a panel on the launch of the Earth Observation Toolkit for Sustainable Cities, organized by UN-Habitat and the Earth Observations for the Sustainable Development Goals (EO4SDG) initiative of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO). Stevens discussed contributions of the GEO Human Planet Initiative (HPI) to the new toolkit, which features a range of data, tools, and services developed by several HPI participants, such as the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission and a NASA-funded project led by CIESIN in collaboration with the University of Louisville and ImageCat, Inc.
Established in 1947, the United Nations Statistical Commission is the highest body of the global statistical system, bringing together the chief statisticians from member states from around the world. Its 52nd Session was held virtually March 1–5.