As the world marks 50 years of environmental multilateralism,
there is an urgent need to chart a more sustainable path to meet
environmental targets. For we are not on a path to meet any.
Changing the current trajectory requires more robust science-based
decision making, stronger accountability, greater transparency,
Because ‘we cannot manage what we cannot measure’, it is essential
to create better access to reliable, real-time data on the state
of the planet to help articulate more clearly the impact of human
actions and drive science-based decision-making by Government,
industry and society at large.
The Data for the Environment Alliance (DEAL) is a
Member-State led global cooperation initiative initiated by the
Government of Estonia and partner representing 34 countries. It is
facilitated and supported by the UNEP Science-Policy-Business
Deal launch event
In 2018, the UNEP Science-Policy-Business Forum —working with the
UNEA 3 Estonian Presidency, Bureau Members and technical partners
across government, UN agencies, space agencies and the private
sector — created a High Level Working Group on Big Data and
Technology for the Planet, which made the case for the need to
strengthen and align global efforts to develop an integrated,
UN-led strategy and global platform to manage and share authentic
and valid environmental data for decision making to set society on
a more sustainable path.
In March 2019, lead by its Estonia Presidency and partner Member
States, the UN Environment Assembly unanimously passed a
Ministerial Declaration that mandated UNEP to develop a Big Data
Strategy on the Environment. The UNEP@50 Ministerial Declaration
reiterated the need for more robust data for the planet. Estonia
wants to take the experience we have gained by adopting a
data-driven government and new digital technologies and share it
with and through DEAL. And we want all of you to add to this with
your valuable experience and ideas.