• Lead-organizer: United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management Secretariat
  • 17:00 - 18:30
  • Date: 20 Jun 2012
  • Room: T-10


Organizing partners

? UN Statistics Division/DESA
? UN Cartographic Section/DFS
? Co-Chairs of the UN Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (GGIM): Ms. Vanessa Lawrence, Director General and Chief Executive, Ordnance Survey United Kingdom, Mr. Seong-An Leem, President, National Geographic Information Institute, Republic of Korea
? UN Permanent Committee on Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Americas, Chair: Brazil
? UN Permanent Committee on GIS Infrastructure for Asia and the Pacific, Chair: China
? UN Committee on Development Information, Science and Technology (Africa): Chair: South Africa


This side event, organized by the UN Global Geospatial Information Management (UNGGIM) secretariat and supported by United Kingdom, Australia, and Brazil, will demonstrate the vital role accurate, maintained and reliable geospatial information can, and indeed is, playing in helping to deliver sustainable development across the globe and in providing financial benefits to users. It will illustrate why Member States should develop and leverage accurate and maintained geospatial information in order to deliver successfully on the outcomes of Rio+20 and to monitor the implementation of such outcomes effectively.

We expect a senior politician from the government of the United Kingdom to give the opening speech. The presentations will be based on real-country experiences and illustrative and non-technical. The main target audience is senior government officials with decision responsibility on monitoring systems for sustainable development.

Detailed programme

Monitoring sustainable development:
Why an understanding of location is essential to the successful delivery of the Rio+20 agenda and to the economies of nations

Everything happens somewhere; over 90% of decisions made involve an understanding of ?place?. Location is an essential ingredient in the information management of tackling the challenges humanity and the globe face, and is often referred to as the ?fourth driver of decision-making? for business and the public sector alongside such metrics as revenue, time and cost.

Delivering and monitoring sustainable development requires accurate information on which to base policy decisions and monitor successful implementation. An essential component of this information base is location information related to ?where? activities and developments are taking place, so that essential analysis can take place. Location information provides an understanding of our surroundings, our environment and, as such, is a vital tool in developing a green economy and in achieving sustainable development.

As well as providing vital information on which to base sound policy decisions that will deliver sustainable development, a solid and comprehensive information base is required for the monitoring of sustainable development and for the measurement of progress towards future goals and targets. Location information represents a core component of this information base.

Recent technological developments, such as the increasing amount of near real-time information available from high-resolution satellite imagery and the increasing prevalence of mobile technology, have transformed the availability and accessibility of geospatial information and enhanced the ability to develop effective location information frameworks. Both as a standalone resource and as a platform on which to integrate statistical, environmental and social information, a solid location-enabled information base constitutes a powerful tool for the monitoring of goals and targets on sustainable development.

The establishment of the Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management represents a new institutional vehicle to exchange knowledge, develop capacity, share best practice and coordinate activity. It is in a unique position to engage with any new institutional structure that emerges as a result of the Rio+20 conference and can act as a coordinating point to ensure all Member States benefit from the value of geospatial information applied to both sustainable development and to many other areas of human and global challenge.

During the presentations a wide range of examples will be discussed, from both the developed and developing world, that illustrate how information about location or ?place? can be used to better enable sustainable development.

The proposed key speakers will be:
? United Kingdom: Minister or Government?s Chief Scientific Adviser
? Co-Chair: UN Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (global geospatial information management perspective)
? Brazil Chair: UN Permanent Committee on Spatial Data Infrastructure for the Americas (regional geospatial information management perspective)
? Country representative: developing country perspective.
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