We depend on healthy ecosystems as habitats for plant and animal life, and for services for human development and well-being. In our development efforts we invariably affect and change our environment, but we need to do so without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems. Whether in rural or urban areas, in mountains or near the coast, we all live in river basins in which upstream developments affect downstream conditions. We need to understand and manage these river basins, and the ecosystems within them as one inter-dependent system.
Land and water systems are intricately linked from the basin to the regional and global scale. Informed decision-making across these scales, including at the national and sub-national level, is tantamount to achieving sustainable development. There is, however, a demonstrated need for innovative ways to get more information on water resources and water related ecosystems in an accurate, timely, and usable format, which builds on existing monitoring infrastructure. This is especially true in data sparse regions. The use of satellite-based Earth observation (EO) data for monitoring water resources and water-related ecosystems is increasingly being recognized and accepted as a viable source of information for decision-makers.
EO4SD water together with UNEP, ESA and NASA used the World Water Week as an opportunity to demonstrate for a larger audience how global coverage EO data can be used to systematically and accurately measure surface water resources and critical ecosystems and thereby in concert with ground-based monitoring support Integrated Water Resource Management as well as the SDG monitoring requirements.
We are thankful to World Bank and our local partner from the Myanmar National Water Resource Committee for contribution to the subsequent panel discussion on potentials and barriers to adoption of EO capabilities and tools by countries to support them in SDG 6 reporting.
See below the EO4SD presentation for World Water Week along with three flyers detailing specific use cases under EO4SD water: