Sustainable Development Goals


Pressure Mounts for Developing Countries to Leave Fossil Fuels in the Ground

Calls are intensifying to phase out fossil fuels, and that is now beginning to occur in many developed countries. This shift will have profound implications for the developing world, which has vast untapped fossil fuel resources, but may be unable to realize their value.

SDGs logos together

4th International Sustainable Development Conference Coming up

The world is working on sustainable development. And many of the new ideas and innovations being applied to fields from agriculture and food security to climate adaptation to socially inclusive economic growth will be on display at the fourth annual International Conference on Sustainable Development, to be held at Columbia University Sept. 21-22.

by |September 8, 2016
In Porgera, many of the local rivers pass through or near a gold mine. The Kakai River and its tributaries are some of the most heavily impacted. Photo: Joshua Fisher

Drought in Papua New Guinea Heightens Tensions over Gold Mine

In the highlands of Papua New Guinea, tensions between local villagers and a gold mining operation over access to clean water are being heightened by a prolonged drought.

by |March 14, 2016
Figure of two images. The one of the left shows 2015 estimates of population density of a coastal region in Kenya from CIESIN’s Gridded Population of the World, version 4 (GPWv4), which is based on census data. On the right, New Facebook estimates of population density in the same coastal region in Kenya. This allocation, which is derived from processing of third party satellite imagery and incorporates GPWv4, provides a higher resolution map of population distribution.

Working with Facebook to Create Better Population Maps

Knowing how settlements are distributed across the landscape—e.g., in clusters, along roads or waterways, or scattered widely—has important implications for designing infrastructure, improving access, and promoting sustainability.

The Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve in Oregon was established in 2009. Photo: Kirt Edblom

How Well is the World Protecting Ecosystems and Human Health?

The new global environmental report card is out. The 2016 Environmental Performance Index graded 180 countries on how well they are protecting human health and their ecosystems. While the world is making progress in some areas, it is seriously falling behind in others.

by |February 18, 2016
Education_Dertu for web

A Special Project, and a Chance to Double Your Impact

As 2015 comes to a close, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Earth Institute’s many partners, friends and supporters who help make our work possible. In honor of the final year of the Millennium Development Goals and the transition to the Sustainable Development Goals, we would like to highlight one partner in particular.

by |December 28, 2015
Computer lab in Mayange, Rwanda.

Leave No One Behind: The Sustainable Development Goals

At the end of September, all 193 member countries of the United Nations have agreed to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals towards eradicating poverty, protecting the planet and advancing prosperity by 2030. What do they hope to accomplish and why do they matter?

by |September 14, 2015
This map shows the growing importance of satellite derived data to measure global annual Particulate Matter 2.5, important environmental indicators for air quality. For more information visit the NASA Socio-Economic Data Applications Center (SEDAC) that is operated by CIESIN.

Critical Role for Geospatial Data in Advancing Sustainable Development Goals

To ensure no one is left behind by the next generation of global development goals, a comprehensive mix of robust data is needed to measure progress and guide investments. A recent report coordinated by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network estimates the world will need to spend roughly $1 billion a year to sustain and enhance the statistical systems.

by |May 8, 2015

Education, Sustainability and the post-2015 Development Agenda

Starting in 2016, a new series of global monitoring reports will examine the state of education, using the framework of the anticipated Sustainable Development Goals that are to be finalized by the UN in September 2015. The first report in this series, the 2016 Report, will focus on “Education, Sustainability and the post-2015 Development Agenda.”

by |January 26, 2015
Road to 2015 MC banner

Road to 2015: A Pivotal Year for Sustainable Development

The Sustainable Development Goals, to be set by the United Nations in September 2015, will outline the international development priorities for the coming decades. What will the goals look like? How can we measure progress effectively? Where will the funding to implement these goals come from? Can an international climate agreement be reached in Paris next year, and what might it look like? Columbia’s Sustainability Media Lab will present “Road to 2015: A Pivotal Year for Sustainable Development,” a panel discussion, on Monday, Nov. 17.

by |November 13, 2014