MSc thesis subject: Remote sensing based SDG indicator monitoring

The United Nations has recently adopted "Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. Comprising a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with 169 associated targets, the 2030 Agenda builds on the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The 17 ambitious, universal and transformative Goals are interlinked and capture the three pillars of sustainable development -economic, social and environmental.

The aim is to achieve full implementation of the UN agenda for sustainable development by 2030,

integrating the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programs. In order to reach these ambitious goals, progress needs to be made in the areas of reduction of poverty and inequality; economic growth and job creation; sustainable use of resources and restoration of ecosystems.

The progress towards SDG targets could be monitored by a number of measurable indicators. Some of these indicators have the potential of being monitored using remote sensing (RS), in particular land monitoring. For example, indicators 11.3.1: “Ratio of land consumption rate to population growth rate” or 15.1.1  “Forest area as a proportion of total land area” could be assessed using remote sensing derived products such as land cover maps and land cover change maps, and additional data (e.g. UN statistical data).

The aim of this MSc thesis research is to demonstrate remote sensing based SDG indicator monitoring. The potential for different remote sensing products to provide data for the SDG indicators can be investigated, and the research can also include the assessments of trends of different indicators in the past for different countries and highlight the potentials of reaching the target by 2030. Furthermore, trade-offs between different SDGs can be investigated, for example increasing agricultural productivity and ensuring sustainable food production vs. ensuring the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of forests. If you are interested, you can contact us for further details.

Theme(s): Sensing & measuring, Integrated Land Monitoring