Page 91 - Frontier Technologies to Protect the Environment and Tackle Climate Change
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Frontier Technologies to Protect the Environment and Tackle Climate Change

                   Box 23: UN Environment’s key ways to pursue a digital ecosystem for the environment [261]

                   UN Environment’s key recommendations to pursue a digital ecosystem for the environment

                   •    Citizens must be engaged and empowered to use data and information to improve
                        their own lives, communities and environment, while also holding leaders accountable.
                        Citizen science initiatives need to be scaled and institutionalized in a manner where
                        they become sustained, with trusted data streams.
                   •    Countries must create a policy environment that promotes open data and a culture of
                        data integration, use, innovation and governance in order to deliver tangible benefits to
                        their citizens, as well as monitor their own progress towards the SDGs and multilateral
                        environmental agreements.
                   •    There is a need to move from awareness about Big Data and frontier technologies to
                        understanding them and their practical applications that can be scaled by non-technical
                        users and decision-makers. There is also a need to harness the power of data, AI and
                        mobile apps to nudge consumer awareness and behavior towards sustainability.
                   •    Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are needed in order to leverage private sector
                        expertise and infrastructure in data science, cloud computing and AI, to share data
                        and to promote the use of technology for global public goods.
                   •    Environmental data custodians must make their data sets as open and interoperable as
                        possible, allowing data to flow across digital ecosystems using web services and APIs.
                        Environmental organizations should adopt common data strategies, assigning specific
                        leadership rolls to different actors and agreeing on the core global public good data
                        sets that are needed to monitor the health of the planet and progress against different
                        global agreements.
                   •    There is a need to curate and release global data analytics on environmental risks that
                        have the power to influence global markets and investments towards more sustainable
                        resource-management solutions.
                   •    There is a need to build on, and leverage, existing partnerships and practitioner
                        communities to ensure that the digital ecosystem for the environment is inclusive
                        and  does  not  overlap  with,  or  duplicate,  existing  activities.  Non-governmental
                        organizations also need to increase their engagement on this topic and perform a
                        critical watchdog function.
                   •    The UN should take a leadership role and make a longer-term investment in convening
                        stakeholders around a common vision for developing a global digital ecosystem for the
                        environment, including new and innovative partnerships with all key actors. The UN
                        should help broker partnerships that meet multiple criteria and demonstrate how data
                        can be transformed into action, as well as global efforts to fill key data gaps. The UN
                        also needs to take a more proactive role to promote open data, open source software,
                        interoperability of data, and to provide guidance on which global data sets are the
                        ‘best available’.

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