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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Institute for Conscious Global Change

February 15, 2015
Statement to the Preparatory Oceans Conference
We would like to thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of The Institute for Conscious Global Change (ICGC).
Our organization would like to emphasize the importance of geographic information systems (GIS) and geospatial data in the work toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal #14 which we will discuss at the June conference.
GIS is essential to raise awareness of existing commitments to the health of our oceans at all scales and to effectively implement new solutions, disseminate and share scientific data and most importantly, achieve a holistic approach.
Geography unites us all through our connection to the planet and her oceans. The integrated approach which has been called for, needs the platform offered by GIS. Participants at the conference should be encouraged to submit and share their successes and information using GIS and digital mapping to highlight overlap and opportunities.
To this end, our organization has developed a global dashboard which tracks the progress of achieving the targets associated with Sustainable Development Goals.
Data visualization allows allies and friends of the ocean to see and understand what activities have been, could be and are being done.
Our Millennium Earth Project is an initiative of ICGC which uses GIS as the essential framework to integrate geography and other sciences along with other stakeholder community’s input to generate sustainable development.
Building on the accepted importance of accumulating and utilizing data to achieve Agenda 2030, it is time to now recognize the power of graphically displaying the relevant data in both two and three dimensions and in terms of geographic location.
By documenting known stressors on the aquatic ecosystem and their area of influence in terms of geography, a visual approach to coordination and accountability can speed up the effective implementation of development projects that will help to achieve the 2030 targets.
Most importantly, publicizing geospatial data and leveraging open source sharing platforms via the web will encourage integration to also speed up implementation.
Finally, web-based GIS will also enable developing countries to equitably engage with the process in a real-time manner.
Thank you for taking the time to consider how GIS can be essential for achieving the targets which comprise our goal of conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas and marine resources for development.
Veronica Anderson, Director of GeoDesign
The Institute for Conscious Global Change (ICGC)