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SDG 14: LIFE BELOW WATER
GEO Blue Planet is the coastal and ocean arm of GEO, connecting ocean and coastal information with society. By connecting openly available satellite data to decision-makers, the initiative bridges the gap between data and services to deliver usable information that supports informed decision-making toward reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.
To address capacity development goals, additional workflows and training materials are provided for individual countries to further refine their modeling with locally available data.
Eutrophication is a process by which excess nutrient inputs into coastal ecosystems cause excessive growth of marine plants and algae. This can lead to harmful algal blooms, dead zones, and fish kills. Many countries do not have in-situ nutrient data to assess eutrophication, and therefore need other tools to measure eutrophication in order to track and monitor progress on SDG 14.1.1a – Index of Coastal Eutrophication.
Partners in GEO Blue Planet developed a methodology for measuring SDG 14.1.1a. Experts from NOAA CoastWatch, Plymouth Marine Lab, Mercator Ocean International found out how to extract information on chlorophyll-a from remote sensing data.
This methodology is now available as part of Esri Oceans Hub, which hosts the chlorophyll-a dashboard and provides information to UN Member States on measuring coastal eutrophication. This operational data processing system produces an updated chlorophyll-a map every day, published as free and open web services for use in this dashboard application or other applications. This enables countries to track and report on SDG progress, which they would not have the capacity to do otherwise. This methodology will be included in the 2021 UN SDG report, the first time any data is reported for this indicator.
“We believe open science is good science, and a way to reassert science as a global public good; this collaboration demonstrates that philosophy by openly sharing the jointly developed methodology and the resulting data in an accessible way”.
Dawn Wright, Esri Chief Scientist
"UNEP collaboration with GEO Blue Planet and Esri to develop the methodology and the usage of Satellite Imagery was fundamentally important to fill in the data gap and help to understand how the freshwater-marine link works in order to establish appropriate measures to maintain a good oceans health."
Jian Liu, Science Division Director and Chief Scientist United Nations Environment Programme