article / 28 October 2022

Tech to Track: Harnessing thepotential of spatial data & digital technologies to prioritise nature and climate action

This SPACES paper aims to inspire the audience to use spatial intelligence as an enabler for integrated nature and climate action. It showcases ’emerging’ data sources and digital technology in the nature and climate space and their use in providing spatial intelligence to decision makers. Questions or insights you would want to share on this topic? Let us know via [email protected]

  • With COP27 approaching, climate change and the intertwined nature crisis are two dual crises increasingly drawing the attention of governments, businesses and finance. This integration is key, as nature based solutions could contribute more than 30% of the emission reductions and carbon capture needed to reach net zero by 2050, as required by the Paris Agreement.
  • Policy makers and standard setters are increasingly prioritising nature and codifying what it means to be 'nature positive'. The Science Based Targets Network's impending guidance, and Taskforce on Nature related Financial Disclosures', TNFD's, beta framework are setting out key metrics and indicators for measuring nature impacts and dependencies. However, governments, businesses and finance lack the data to track progress towards ‘nature positive’ and ‘net zero’ emissions.
  • To enable governments, businesses and finance to act, spatial intelligence needs to be available to help prioritise and track location specific actions for both nature and climate.
  • Fortunately, technology is transforming the collection of on the ground data, alongside a revolution in the application of data science and satellite technologies making monitoring of the state of our planet cheaper, more accessible and expanding use cases.
  • To unlock the potential of new spatial data and technologies for nature and climate, three things are needed: 1) more investment in, and collection of, data by private and public actors; 2) trusted, standardised measurement frameworks to ensure like for like collection and comparison; 3) radical transparency data should be made accessible and shared as a public good - the future of people and the planet depends on it.

What specific actions are needed to achieve this? And what specific initiatives are already working in this space? Reach out and share your thoughts at [email protected]

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