UNBC PhD candidate Jose Aragon is part of an international research team recognized for its work supporting the United Nations sustainable development goals in South America

Aragon collaborated on a project funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that received a Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Sustainable Development Goal Award. The award, in the intergovernmental category, was presented to project partners United Nations Development Program Colombia, United Nations Development Program Ecuador and United Nations Development Program Peru.

“Conservation is a hard endeavour. Besides ecological value, many interests including logging, infrastructure, agriculture, tourism, protected areas and cultural sites compete on the same landscapes,” Aragon says. “High-quality forests are strategic territories to focus our conservation efforts on, given they provide refuge for biodiversity, they contain high amounts of carbon sequestered, and provide high levels of ecosystem services.”

The project, Connecting Science to Policy to Strengthen Reporting on SDG15 in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, uses mapping tools to better understand both the extent and the quality of forests in these incredibly biodiverse countries.

The GEO SDG Awards, launched in 2019, celebrates productivity, innovation, novelty, and exemplary efforts in the use of Earth observations to support sustainable development. The recognition provided by the award has the potential to support international efforts advocating for better targets and indicators on biodiversity both for Sustainable Development Goal 15 and for the new global framework for nature that will be agreed upon in 2022 by countries Party to the UN Biodiversity Convention.

Read the full UNBC news coverage here.