Service for the benifit and betterment of humanity is a key element of “Geo for All” and i am always amazed by the various educational and development initiatives that our colleagues are doing. We are going to add service for the betterment of humanity as one of the key “Geo for All” criteria and i wish to invite ideas on how we can do this better linking with the UN Millennium Development Goals
There are four areas that i believe we can contribute our joint expertise for global development and reducing poverty. Even though the scale of these global challenges are big , together we can atleast provide our small efforts linking to the UN Millennium Development Goals
1. DEVELOP A GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR DEVELOPMENT http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/global.shtml
How – we are doing this already through geocapacity building globally and can think of ideas for esp. in Target 8.F: In cooperation with the private sector, make available benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications for development
2. ENSURE ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/environ.shtml
How – our Urban Science research theme http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/GeoForAll_UrbanScience_CityAnalytics is a good example of how we can bring ideas together for Climate Change Adaptation and Environmental Sustainability
3. ERADICATE EXTREME POVERTY & HUNGER http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/poverty.shtml
How – We will start a new thematic on AgriGIS. Agriculuture is the main livelihood of millions of poor people globally. It is important that poor farmers not only get better yield productivity using geospatial technologies but also empower them to get fair prices for thier produce (for example by knowing market prices) . Some initial ideas on Open initiatives in Agriculture at http://opensourcegeospatial.icaci.org/2013/12/open-initiatives-in-agriculture/
4. ACHIEVE UNIVERSAL PRIMARY EDUCATION http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/education.shtml
How – We are already doing this for Geospatial education at university level but need to focus also on school education and our teacher training thematic is aimed at this. Openness in Education will be great first step in making this possible and digital technologies will help accelerate this and we need to provide all help we can for this.
We are hoping that in the future we will have dedicated session at FOSS4G conferences on “Open GIS for UN and International development” and this will help us start putting ideas for this also.
Education and empowerment are key to enable lifting billions of people out of extreme poverty and enable rapid development and we have to do our bit for this.
All ideas/inputs welcome.