On September 20, 2022, China released the “Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals Report (2022)” at a meeting in New York.
The report was prepared by the International Research Center for Big Data for Sustainable Development (IRCSDD) and the “Big Earth Data Science Project” pilot project of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), with the participation of more than 170 researchers from more than 40 research institutes and universities. The report reflects the latest research results in the field of big data for sustainable development and is an innovative practice of big data to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Report focuses on 25 targets of seven SDGs, including zero hunger, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, climate action, underwater biology and terrestrial biology, and SDG multi-indicator crossover and synthesis to carry out a series of indicator monitoring and assessment demonstration research work, forming 42 typical cases, contributing 31 sets of data products, 21 methodological models and 33 decision support, showing the results of SDG indicators monitoring and assessment at four scales: global, regional, national and typical regions.
In SDG 2 Zero Hunger, the study found that about 85.2% of global cropland in 2020 is in single-season cropping pattern, and there is still potential to improve the replanting index; from 2015 ~ 2020, soil organic carbon in the cultivated layer of Chinese farmland increased by 3.4%. In SDG 6 clean water and sanitation, the study found that China’s groundwater environment improved significantly, agricultural water use efficiency improved significantly, overall water stress showed a decreasing trend, and water management tools were optimized and improved significantly. In SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy, the study found that the global energized floor space in 2020 will increase significantly compared to 2014; in 2021, China will have 2.12 times more installed renewable energy and 1.79 times more electricity generation than in 2015. In SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, the study found that global urbanization is coordinated from 2000 to 2020; China contributes 28% of the world’s significantly greener urban areas with 19% of the world’s urban built-up area, and China’s urban greening population accounts for 47% of the world’s total beneficiary population. In SDG 13 Climate Action, the study found that China and its provincial governments have established a relatively well-developed disaster mitigation system, and China’s climate change education system is relatively well developed; the global land continues to warm, the frequency and intensity of high-temperature heat waves increase, and the ocean heat content continues to increase. In SDG 14 underwater organisms, the study found that nutrient concentrations in China’s offshore waters have decreased significantly in the past decade or so; China’s offshore wetlands have played a significant role in resisting typhoons and reducing disaster losses; and China’s reclamation control and management has achieved significant results in the past decade. In SDG 15 Terrestrial Biology, the study found that land degradation management in China is effective; the proportion of protected mountain ecosystems in China is high and the spatial layout is being further optimized; the prevention and control of major invasive alien species is effective, and a prevention and control technology system has been formed with popularization value.
In terms of SDG multi-indicator intersection and synthesis, the study found that the SDG multi-indicator synergy and trade-off relationship in China’s provincial administrative regions have significant spatial and temporal differences in the past 20 years; by carrying out comprehensive assessment of SDGs in four typical regions, including Hainan Province, Lincang City of Yunnan Province, Guilin City of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and Shenzhen City of Guangdong Province, the study can provide an opportunity for different characteristic regions in China to scientifically establish priority development goals and alleviate the SDG indicator trade-off problems in development. The report also assesses the SDGs of four typical regions in China, including Lincang, Yunnan Province, Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and Shenzhen, Guangdong Province.
At the same time, the Report assesses the progress of 56 environmental SDGs in China from 2010 to 2021, and the results show that China’s environmental indicators have improved significantly compared to 2015 (the starting year of the agenda), and nearly half of the 56 environmental indicators assessed in China have achieved their targets ahead of schedule as the implementation of the 2030 Agenda approaches its midpoint, laying the groundwork for the overall achievement of SDGs by 2030. This has laid a good foundation for the overall achievement of the SDGs by 2030.
The results of the study provide high-quality data products to directly fill the missing data for monitoring SDG indicators, provide complementary background and analytical data for deeper understanding of the progress and drivers of indicators, and provide new methods for more timely and finer assessment and prediction of SDG indicators, as well as provide scientific evidence for improving global synergy and comparability of indicators and addressing cross-border sustainable development issues, and provide scientific evidence for serving the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with scientific and technological support.
Since 2019, the Earth Big Data Supporting Sustainable Development Goals Report has been published by China for four consecutive years to quantitatively and systematically interpret the process of achieving and changing trends of SDGs at different scales and regions, with a view to making positive contributions to the in-depth implementation of the 2030 Agenda and global development initiatives.