UNEP/GRID-Warsaw and the City of Warsaw host “Data for Good” Joint Session in Poland to discuss global, European, and local perspective on using big data to promote sustainable development.

On 26th November, experts from EO4GEO – a capacity building alliance for skills training within the space and geospatial sectors – and UNEP/GRID met at the Palace of Culture in the Polish capital to exchange best practices related to the collection and use of environmental data for guiding people, places and the whole planet towards a safer and fairer future.

A global perspective on the state of today’s data ecosystem was presented by Alexandre Caldas, Chief Big Data Branch at UNEP, and Pascal Peduzzi, Director UNEP/GRID Geneva.

Mr Caldas emphasized the need to make more effective use of data by coordinating data collection and use in order to lead society towards a sustainable path. Mr Peduzzi demonstrated UNEP´s World Environment Situation Room as an important tool for ensuring data can be used for the common good. Furthermore, Mr Peduzzi highlighted the need to use data in a more visual way to spark imagination and get information across to the general public.

Alexandre Caldas, UNEP speaking
Alexandre Caldas, UNEP

The European perspective was discussed by Milva Carbonaro from the Geographical Information Systems International Group (GISIG), and Ms Monica Miguel-Lago from the European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC).

Ms Carbonaro spoke about the EO4GEO project, which coordinates with 26 partners from 13 EU countries, bringing together partners from academia, public, and the private sector to bridge the gap between supply and demand of quality education and training in the space and geospatial sectors. Ms Miguel-Lago talked about how data can also aid the economy, providing an example of how frequently updated data can aid countries in the Arctic allow more efficient transportation in the region.

The local perspective was offered by Tadeusz Osowski, Director of Digitization Office in the City of Warsaw. Mr Osowski provided an example of how data is used for good in the City of Warsaw, by highlighting initiatives related to the municipal urban digital transformation strategy and the website “Data in Warsaw”.


The UN Environment Programme Global Resources Information Database (UNEP/GRID) network is part of the Science Division of  UNEP which connects a global group of environmental information centres. GRID Geneva and Nairobi were the first centres to be launched in mid-1985, with the Warsaw Centre opening in 1991. Currently there are 11 centres globally.

Last month, a new initiative launched by UNEP/GRID-Warsaw, called the Climate Leadership programme, aims to support Poland’s business community in their transition to a climate neutral path.

Relevant links

The Data for Good Conference: Using data for sustainable development activities

UNEP-GRID Climate Leadership Programme

GRID global offices

UNEP World Environment Situation Room

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