The Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS) has been selected to receive the 2020 GEO Sustainable Development Goals Award for Academia. This international award is presented to those making an impact on the United Nations’ 17 Global Goals. It recognises the productivity, innovation, novelty, and exemplary efforts in the use of Earth observations to support sustainable development. The Award was launched in 2019 by Earth Observations for Sustainable Development Goals (EO4SDG).
The award was presented at a virtual ceremony as part of the GEO Week 2020 virtual conference. Dr Argyro Kavvada of NASA, serving as the EO4SDG Executive Secretary, said, "It is our esteemed honour to recognise the Earth Observatory of Singapore's remarkable efforts in service of SDG 11, 13, and 17 to support disaster risk management and community resilience across Southeast Asia."
The award acknowledges EOS’ important contribution to the use of Earth observations data in monitoring the UN Sustainable Development Goals. EOS was nominated by Nanyang Assistant Professor Perrine Hamel and Research Fellow Dr Gopika Suresh, both from the Nanyang Technological University.
"We are grateful to be recognised among prestigious institutions such as UN agencies", said Asst. Prof Hamel. Dr Suresh, a member of the EOS Geodesy Group, added that "EOS conducts a lot of innovative research regarding disaster management using Earth Observation datasets for projects such as ARIA-SG. They conduct many other projects that focus on increasing community risk resilience in this region."
Earth observations, geospatial data, and the information they provide play insightful roles in monitoring targets, tracking progress, as well as helping nations and stakeholders make informed decisions towards achieving the SDGs.
"We are far from meeting the targets, in Southeast Asia and globally", Asst. Prof Hamel said. "Key challenges include generating the data we need to track each target, and also downscaling the global goals to subnational levels, such as local governments and private corporations, to hold people accountable."
Winning the award encourages us to work even harder on interdisciplinary and solution-oriented research, said Asst. Prof Hamel. "This highlights the need for academia to contribute to solving societal issues, which EOS is well-positioned to do in Southeast Asia."
The full award ceremony can be viewed below: