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Working on Sustainable Developments Goals at ITC How local actions contribute to sustainable and inclusive societies

The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. Every year around 25 September, there is the annual SDG Action Day, which brings extra attention to the SDGs. This year, there is a specific focus on local actions that contribute to sustainable and inclusive societies. 

Dutch universities have been making an effort to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for some years now. The SDG dashboard makes it easier to understand to which degree this applies to various goals. Areas in which the University of Twente’s faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation are active include those related to the Climate Action, Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions, Clean Water and Sanitation, and Zero Hunger SDGs. Listed below are three examples of articles that were published in recent years and have a clear link to the Sustainable Development Goals:

1. Food Security: the global burden of pathogens and pests on food crops
2. Reduced Inequalities: a new global map to assess inequality in accessibility
3. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions: limits of the land, a pilot for land in peace projects 

Global Challenges, Local Actions

We recognize that global 21st-century challenges call for careful regional and local level consideration via active engagement across scientific disciplines. Through ITC’s Global Challenges – Local Action course, our student awareness is raised to these issues. Building on the educational specialization tracks of the Master Geo-information Science and Earth Observation (M-Geo), not only do students learn about the Sustainable Development Goals, such as climate action, zero hunger, sustainable cities and communities, affordable and clean energy, clean water availability, but they also apply their geo-spatial and disciplinary knowledge and skills. Read more on this via this link

Mapping for a Sustainable World

Well-designed maps and diagrams can assist in achieving these goals. With this in mind, the International Cartographic Association together with United Nations Geospatial Information Section has written the book Mapping for a Sustainable World. One of the main writers was Menno-Jan Kraak, UT Professor in Geovisual Analytics and Cartography (Faculty of ITC).

Figure 1. Interactive dashboard on SDG indicator 9.4.1 on CO2 emissions.

More information

Visit the VSNU website for more information on the SDG dashboard. On SDGnederland.nl you can learn more about the Dutch SDG Action Days. 

R. Kwakman MSc (Robin)
Communication Advisor (Faculty ITC)