Geospatial leaders to reinforce climate action commitment at prestigious Cambridge Conference
Leaders from mapping and geospatial organisations around the world will reinforce their commitment to providing trusted location data to support climate action at the 2022 Cambridge Conference in April.
The programme is based on the output recommendations made to national mapping and geospatial agencies at the Cambridge Conference in Conversation event that took place online in September 2021. These recommendations will be aligned in April with the three overarching themes of the United Nation’s (UN) Integrated Geospatial Information Framework (IGIF): People, Technology and Governance. Delegates will champion the role of national geospatial infrastructure in supplying and integrating data to enable governments to meet climate targets, such as the UN’s Agenda 2030.
This year’s event takes place from 12 to 14 April 2022 at Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford, with an additional day for the UK Showcase on 11 April. Delegates will hear from prominent research scientist, author and presenter, Professor Lewis Dartnell, who will provide insights on the geography of earth and shared human history. An award-winning science writer, Professor Dartnell is known for The Knowledge: How to Rebuild our World from Scratch, and Origins which examines how our planet made us.
Speakers also include Stephen Lake, Chair & CEO, Ordnance Survey (OS), the UK’s Geospatial Commission and Greg Scott, Inter-Regional Advisor, UN-GGIM, United Nations Statistics Division.
Location data has proven to be a valuable asset in mapping and monitoring environmental changes, how these changes are managed, and analysing how effective solutions are.
In fact, digital technologies can help reduce global carbon emissions by up to 15% – one-third of the 50% reduction required by 2030 – through solutions in energy, manufacturing, agriculture and land use, buildings, services, transportation, and traffic management. These transformative technologies, combined with the use of geospatial data provide vital insights for climate change management.
In the UK OS data is being used on many sustainable projects, from monitoring and analysing coastal erosion to helping preserve and restore valuable peatland carbon stores. In addition to monitoring change, OS data is also being used by the utility sector to identify locations for renewable energy systems and help plan the national roll out of EV infrastructures.
Other global examples of how location data is proving pivotal in tackling climate change and making sustainable infrastructure decisions include Mexico, where they are using regular updates on forest cover to identify areas under threat, plan policy incentives, regulation and enforcement, while geospatial data also allows the tracking of recovery and reforestation.
In Singapore, where 30% of the land is below 5m above sea level, detailed location data has been used to identify which parts of the coast should receive protection, and to develop planning regulations to prevent flash flood damage to critical infrastructure such as power facilities and metro stations.
David Henderson, Chief Geospatial Officer, Ordnance Survey said: “Every four years, OS has the privilege of convening the Cambridge Conference on behalf of the global national mapping and geospatial community. We recognise the importance of location data in fighting the impacts of climate change and that our work has never been more important.
“The event, which is being held in Oxford and online to maximise participation, builds on the 2021 Cambridge Conference pledge from geospatial leaders to agree how they will support their governments in achieving COP26’s four key goals. The paper, ‘Applying Geospatial Information to Climate Challenges’, set out how official sources of geospatial data can support the United Nations four goals for COP26 and calls on governments to recognise the value of location in climate action.
“We’ll take this a step further by exploring the actions national mapping and geospatial agencies can take to support their government’s strategic policies and we’ll further demonstrate the power of geospatial through a new generation of case studies.”