News Satellites for sustainable development

Mapping Australia’s progress towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Last updated:18 June 2024

As a program of Geoscience Australia, Digital Earth Australia (DEA) works to see satellite imagery and data serving evidence-based decisions for a strong economy, resilient society, and sustainable environment. Our work also supports Australia’s commitment to The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), established in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly.

Australia's 2018 Report on the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals highlights the Digital Earth Australia program.

“Innovative data solutions, like Earth observation technology, will be crucial to help inform decision-makers about performance against certain SDG targets and indicators,” it says.

“Australia is at the forefront of designing and utilising innovative solutions, like the application of big data, to capture SDG-relevant data, to assist with assessing performance against the SDGs, or to assist with developing alternative or improved methodology for the SDG Indicators.

“Digital Earth Australia is an example of such Australian innovation. Led by Geoscience Australia, DEA translates decades of satellite data into information and insights about Australia’s land and oceans and can help measure and drive progress against the SDGs.

“The underpinning technology, which was pioneered by Geoscience Australia, CSIRO and Australia’s National Computational Infrastructure (NCI), now forms the basis of the broader Open Data Cube and is being used or considered by almost 40 countries.”

“The Sustainable Development Goals are a true global blueprint for a sustainable future for our planet, our communities, our families and our economies,” says Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, of the report.

“Australians have long recognised the need to manage the environment and the economy in a sustainable way. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander concept of ‘Caring for Country’ is a foundation of Indigenous culture and spirituality, while the Australian belief in 'a fair go' for all is entrenched in our national values. Both speak to the important objectives and enormous responsibility of the Sustainable Development Goals that we have all adopted.”

Read the report