What are the Sustainable Development Goals?
The Sustainable development Goals are a combination of 17 globally agreed upon goals that the United Nations Development Program has challenged the world to achieve by 2030. The goals range from the elimination of poverty (#1) to the conservation and sustainable use of marine and aquatic habitats (#14) to the promotion of responsible consumption and production (#12). Each of these goals has associated targets to measure the progress being made in achieving the goal.
Governing bodies and the local, national, and international levels, as well as NGOs, have worked these goals into their frameworks and legislation to join the worldwide mission to reach a sustainable and all around more ethical future.
Citizen Science and the SDGs.
Leaders of the United Nations Environment Program have recognized the particular and significant contribution citizen science can make to achieving the SDGs because: “it focuses on data in innovative, timely and powerful ways, it is a transformative, people-centered approach and it provides new models of partnerships…..” Prof. Alex Caldas, Director of Country Outreach, UNEP. We, the citizen science community, are being encouraged to become actively involved in this great initiative, particularly in “leaving no-one behind”, as our research projects always involve individuals and communities.
Citizen science practitioners globally are all at an early stage of exploring how we can contribute to the SDGs and how we can best demonstrate that contribution in the data we create. We are coming together across the citizen science community and across the world to bring the power of our joint creativity in addressing this big, important and long-term opportunity.
The Citizen Science Global Partnership and the SDGs.
The CSGP’s model as a network of networks allows for the engagement of citizen scientists working in the field under the guidance of the SDGs to connect with like-minded organizations and perhaps inspire emerging networks and project to take the lead on an SDG related endeavor.
An SDG and Citizen Science Maximization group is being established to create and coordinate a community of interest/working group to develop understanding, information, tools, and guides to help the global citizen science community both contribute to and derive benefit from engagement with the UN 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). The group has short term and long term objectives and are as follows:
- Identify where and how citizen science can add value to the SDGs – by carefully evaluating the requirements of the reporting framework and mapping them to CS use cases.
- Identify opportunities for CS methodology to be acknowledged as provider of citizen generated data, by raising the profile of the methodology at national and international levels, including advocacy at high level.
- Build momentum in the community – by proposing strategies to facilitate the creation of CS and SDG networks and partnerships.
- Support organisations that want to contribute and/or benefit from engagement with the UN 2030 Agenda – by exploring and identifying guidelines at a range of scales and complexities and appropriate to different local conditions.
- Support CS projects and platforms that want to contribute to the SDGs – by providing tools and recommended procedures on an online hub on the Citizen Science Global Partnership website.
- Facilitate interoperability of projects and analysis – by proposing data and metadata schema for CS data relevant to the SDGs.
- Make sure that Goal 17 ”Leave no-one behind” principles of the UN Agenda 2030” are built into CS projects – by providing tools and guides for inclusiveness, equity and empowerment.