Harnessing Big Data on the Environment for Sustainable Development

Derek Gliddon recapped on Sustainable Development requiring information on not only environmental conditions but on the drivers and implications of change in the environment;  Derek identified the great magnitude of data and systems knowledge required to support integrated, informed decision making but also that much of the  data and knowledge already exist.  What is needed is an organizing framework by which users and providers of information, knowledge, analysis and visualization services can “plug in”.   Gliddon stated the world looks to UN Environment as the UN entity charged with Keeping The Environment Under Review to take the lead in establishing and maintaining the necessary organizing framework.   Gliddon recognised the UNEP Discussion Paper “The Case for a Digital Ecosystem for the Environment”, the Citizen Science Global Partnership, the Global Environmental Education Partnership, the Sustainable Development Goals Interface Ontology, the GPSDD API Highway, the UN Global Platform and the Eye on Earth Alliance as key elements in the necessary Digital Ecosystem  Speakers

Panelists 
Category Affiliation Name of Person (s) 
Satellite Imagery Google Earth Brian Sullivan, Deputy Director 
Mobile network operators KT Corporation Dr. Dongmyun Lee, President of Future platform Business Group 
Government Environment Agency Abu-Dhabi Derek Gliddon, Acting Director for Research and Innovation, Environmental Agency of Abu Dhabi (EAD) 
UN Environment 2018 Champions of the Earth Evocco Hugh Weldon, Co-founder of Evocco. 
Satellite Imagery and Remote Sensing Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) Margaret Nthuli, Digital Transformation, ESRI Eastern Africa 
Faith and the Environment iUmrah.world Ahmed Al Haddad, Founder & CEO 
Research Organization Estonian Environment Research Centre Mr. Margus Kört, CEO 

Moderator:  Prof. Alex Caldas:  Chief of COTI Branch, Science Division

AGEDI presented Harnessing Big Data on the Environment for Sustainable Development

Mon 11 March 

Event UN Environment Science & Innovation Expo 

Session Title:  Harnessing Big Data on the Environment for Sustainable Development 

Presentation Title:   Harnessing Big Data on the Environment for  Sustainable Development:  Local to Global 

Big-Data-Session-01

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Derek Gliddon recapped on Sustainable Development requiring information on not only environmental conditions but on the drivers and implications of change in the environment;  Derek identified the great magnitude of data and systems knowledge required to support integrated, informed decision making but also that much of the  data and knowledge already exist.  What is needed is an organizing framework by which users and providers of information, knowledge, analysis and visualization services can “plug in”.   Gliddon stated the world looks to UN Environment as the UN entity charged with Keeping The Environment Under Review to take the lead in establishing and maintaining the necessary organizing framework.   Gliddon recognised the UNEP Discussion Paper “The Case for a Digital Ecosystem for the Environment”, the Citizen Science Global Partnership, the Global Environmental Education Partnership, the Sustainable Development Goals Interface Ontology, the GPSDD API Highway, the UN Global Platform and the Eye on Earth Alliance as key elements in the necessary Digital Ecosystem  Speakers

Panelists 
Category Affiliation Name of Person (s) 
Satellite Imagery Google Earth Brian Sullivan, Deputy Director 
Mobile network operators KT Corporation Dr. Dongmyun Lee, President of Future platform Business Group 
Government Environment Agency Abu-Dhabi Derek Gliddon, Acting Director for Research and Innovation, Environmental Agency of Abu Dhabi (EAD) 
UN Environment 2018 Champions of the Earth Evocco Hugh Weldon, Co-founder of Evocco. 
Satellite Imagery and Remote Sensing Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) Margaret Nthuli, Digital Transformation, ESRI Eastern Africa 
Faith and the Environment iUmrah.world Ahmed Al Haddad, Founder & CEO 
Research Organization Estonian Environment Research Centre Mr. Margus Kört, CEO 

Moderator:  Prof. Alex Caldas:  Chief of COTI Branch, Science Division 

Arabian Peninsula Blue Carbon and Ecosystem Services Technical Working Group Meet

The newly formed Arabian Peninsula Blue Carbon and Ecosystem Services Technical Working Group held their initiation meeting on March 20th, hosted by the current Chair AGEDI. Working Group Secretariat members came from across the region to decide multiple key decisions for the way forward of the group.

The Scope of the Group is to provide the following:

1.Act as facilitator between BC and marine/coastal ES practitioners within the region, and provide a platform for communication with the wider international community

2.Within region coordination role would be

•To share best practices, methodologies and data between regional practitioners •Help facilitate research in the region (e.g. collaboration) and capitalize on potential synergies between activities •Produce integrated papers/reviews for use in at national, regional and international levels •Prepare expert opinion towards regional and international dialogue and intergovernmental processes •Identification of experts within the region to support governments in their own reporting •Facilitate capacity building for regional experts for in-house analysis and implementation •Enhance regional awareness of blue carbon and ecosystem services of our region

The workshop came to group decisions regarding the Secretariat and its membership, working group governance structure, outcomes and way forward.

AGEDI Presents at the UN Environment Science Business Policy Forum session entitled: Foresight and Early Warning for Decision Making

AGEDI Presentation Title:   “Foresight: Local to Global”

Derek described how the Indicator Reporting Information System (IRIS) system (developed by the AGEDI implementation parters EAD and UNEP) enables flow of data from sub-national entities to global assessment process.  Gliddon explained how enironemntal organisations are required to report to environmental conditions and environmental management performance; how IRIS reduces the reporting burden through partial automation and how IRIS reports can be used by entities higher in the reporting hirachy as data inputs for national, regional and global assessment.  Derek also explained how IRIS ensures indicators are provided along with assessment narrative by experts who understand the local context, and thus overcomes a widespread barrier to data sharing.

Session Theme(s): Foundation for a Global Digital Platform for our Planet

Session Global context:

There is a need to highlight hotspot(s) of environmental change(s), feature emerging science topic(s), or discuss contemporary environmental issue(s). An opportunity is then created that enables policy makers to find out what is happening to the changing environment and the consequences of everyday choices, and to think about future directions for policy and action.

Moderator: Prof. Alexandre Caldas – Chief of Country Outreach, Technology and Innovation Branch , United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) ;

Speakers:

Affiliation Name of Person (s)
CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) / MIKE (Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants) Ms. Thea Carroll, CITES MIKE Coordinator.
Regional Office for Africa, UN Environment, Mr. Charles Sebukeera Program Officer
Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) Mr. Laban Ndungo, Solutions Engineer, ESRI Eastern Africa
Environmental Agency of Abu Dhabi (EAD) Mr. Derek Gliddon Acting Director for Research and Innovation

AGEDI represented at 5th World Conference on Climate Change

AGEDI was recently represented at the 5th World Conference on Climate Change” which took place over 4-6 October in London, England. The theme of the congress was “Climate Change and Sustainable Futures” and included participants from government, NGOs, business, and academia from around the globe who shared emerging research findings and innovative policy-related proposals in climate science, greenhouse gas mitigation and climate change adaptation. Dr. Bill Dougherty offered a talk on the “energy-water-health nexus under climate change” that built on findings from AGEDI’s recently completed Local, National, and Regional Climate Change programme. Feedback on the talk was quite positive, with some noting with appreciation AGEDI’s active engagement in seeking to support effective climate change policymaking in the UAE and surrounding Arabian Peninsula region.

AGEDI 2017 Executive Report

2016-17 was a pivotal biennial for AGEDI that saw the culmination of various initiatives and projects, each one bringing us one-step closer to an environmentally sustainable future.
A collaborative initiative managed and facilitated by a partnership between UN Environment, the Indicator Reporting Information System (IRIS) version 1.0 was launched in Nairobi in December 2017. This was a proud moment for Abu Dhabi in a project that was years in the making. Consistent with the AGEDI mission, IRIS aims to address systemic data and information challenges that hinder environmental sustainability, and has the potential to reduce the reporting burden for many government institutions, leading to more efficient decision-making. The prospects for 2018 are exciting and we look forward to further collaboration with UN Environment.

Our mantra is to keep delivering access to quality environmental data that supports decision-making towards a sustainable future. Our efforts are only realised thanks to the commitment of and collaboration with our invaluable stakeholders, who have played an essential role in each of our accomplishments in 2016-17.

Read our report here

Updated Al Wathba Tour Now Online!

We are very pleased to now share our updated 360 educational virtual tour of Al Wathba Wetland Reserve!

Now incorporated are 360 videos with our experts and a drive through, further links and updated and even higher resolution photos!

It is such a beautiful place which we hope this tour will incentivize you to visit as well as learn more with us.

Check it out at by clicking here

Register for the Eye on Earth Symposium!

AGEDI and EAD, as co-founder of the Eye on Earth movement, in partnership with the UAE Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA) and the Eye on Earth Alliance are delighted to invite all who support evidence-based decision making for environmental and natural resource aspects of sustainable development to Convene, Converge and Collaborate at an Eye on Earth Symposium.

The Symposium will be held at the Mina A’Salam Hotel in Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates from 22-24 Oct. 2018.

The Symposium comprises two ~50 person meeting rooms and an adjacent networking area.

The Symposium is a working/outcomes-focused event.  The focus is on progressing the EoE Vision by catalyzing and strengthening bilateral and multi-lateral partnerships. The Symposium content is provided by members of the EoE Global Community.

The Symposium content is a mixture of presentations with Q&A, panel discussions, and in-depth, interactive, multi-hour workshops.

We plan to webcast the Symposium sessions for those unable to attend in person. Remote participants will be able to see, hear and speak.

Please visit https://eye-on-earth.netfor more information and to register for the event

AGEDI presents at EWS-WWF workshop in Abu Dhabi

AGEDI presented the Marxan Application of its 2013 Systematic Conservation Planning Assessments and Spatial Prioritizations project. Emirates Wildlife Society – World Wildlife Fund (EWS-WWF) is using AGEDI’s project as the baseline upon which it can take the study further in their own Systematic Conservation Planning project. The presentation was made during the Data Validation and Review Workshop for Marine Biodiversity in the UAE, which was hosted by EWS-WWF in Abu Dhabi on April 30th 2018. EWS-WWF’s usage of AGEDI’s previous work is a testament to the fulfilling of our mission to facilitate access to quality environmental data and information. AGEDI will be closely involved in the upcoming workshops that will be held in the coming months.

IRIS workshop held in Nairobi

The AGEDI implementation partners, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) and UN Environment, held an Indicator Reporting Information System (IRIS) Strategy and Technical Workshop in Nairobi on 23-25 April 2018. Technical refinement plans and user needs for version 1.1 were discussed with UN Environment stakeholders. The workshop also discussed the deployment and outreach strategy for 2018, notably IRIS’ potential for Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) reporting. Next steps include completing version 1.2 by December 2018, as well as presenting IRIS in multiple fora in the coming months.