Data & Analytics

Data and analytics are increasingly recognized as fundamental elements in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These 17 goals, adopted by the United Nations in 2015, aim to address global challenges such as poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace, and justice. Each goal is interconnected, requiring a holistic approach to achieve sustainable development by 2030. Within this framework, SDG 17, "Partnerships for the Goals," is particularly crucial as it highlights the need for high-quality, timely, and reliable data to drive progress across all goals.

The importance of data and analytics in realizing the SDGs cannot be overstated. Accurate and insightful data is necessary for several key aspects: assessing current progress, identifying existing gaps, informing policy-making, and guiding the allocation of resources. For instance, in addressing SDG 1, "No Poverty," data helps in understanding the demographics of poverty, allowing for targeted interventions. Similarly, for SDG 3, "Good Health and Well-being," data analytics play a crucial role in tracking disease outbreaks, understanding health trends, and improving healthcare delivery.

In the education sector, under SDG 4, "Quality Education," data can inform about areas where educational resources are lacking or where dropout rates are high, guiding efforts to enhance education systems. Additionally, for SDG 13, "Climate Action," data is indispensable for understanding climate patterns, predicting future scenarios, and formulating strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Advancements in data collection and analytics methods have opened up new possibilities. Mobile technology, for example, has revolutionized data collection, enabling real-time gathering and dissemination of information even in remote areas. Remote sensing technologies, such as satellite imagery, provide critical data on environmental changes, agricultural patterns, and urban development. These methods not only expand the scope of data collection but also enhance its accuracy and timeliness.

However, challenges remain in harnessing the full potential of data for the SDGs. These include issues related to data availability, quality, accessibility, and interoperability. In many parts of the world, especially in developing countries, there is a significant data deficit. This gap hinders the ability to make informed decisions and effectively address the SDGs. Moreover, data collected must be reliable and relevant to be useful in policy formulation and implementation.

To overcome these challenges, partnerships between governments, private sector, academia, and civil society are vital. These collaborations can foster innovation in data collection and analytics, ensure data sharing, and build capacities for data analysis. Furthermore, there is a need for a global framework to standardize data collection and reporting methods, which will facilitate comparison and aggregation of data across regions and countries.

Elsevier, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Volume 34, January 2019
Global biodiversity targets have far-reaching implications for nature conservation worldwide. Scenarios and models hold unfulfilled promise for ensuring such targets are well founded and implemented; here, we review how they can and should inform the Aichi Targets of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and their reformulation. They offer two clear benefits: providing a scientific basis for the wording and quantitative elements of targets; and identifying synergies and trade-offs by accounting for interactions between targets and the actions needed to achieve them.
Plastics entering the environment will persist and continue to degrade and fragment to smaller particles under the action of various environmental factors. These microplastics (MP) and nanoplastics (NP) are likely to pose a higher environmental impact, as well as they are more prone to adsorb organic contaminants and pathogens from the surrounding media, due to their higher surface area to volume ratio. Little known on their characteristics, fragmentation, distribution and impact on freshwater ecosystems.

TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 110, January 2019

This review provides insight into the abundance, origin, distribution and composition of MPs in the sea surface and water column of the Mediterranean Sea. Literature data on MP particles on the sea surface showed an evident heterogeneous distribution and composition, with marked geographical differences between Mediterranean sub-basins. A standardized protocol for water sampling, extraction and detection of plastic debris is strongly recommended.


Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences, Volume 4: Encyclopedia of Ecology (Second Edition), 2019, Pages 344-351

This book chapter addresses goals 11, 12, and 15 by showing that human population growth is not the only matter for consideration in ecological engineering. What matters for the future is not only how many people there will be, but what they will do in their everyday life; this will impact the life systems surrounding them and how equipped they will be to face emerging challenges. In coming decades, the survival and well-being of humans and the security of environmental resources will continue to be challenged by rapid population growth.
Elsevier, TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 109, December 2018
This review discusses the identification and quantification of microplastic (MP) using Raman microspectroscopy (RM). It addresses scientists investigating MP in environmental and food samples. We show the benefits and limitations of RM from a technical point of view (sensitivity, smallest particle sizes, speed optimizations, analysis artefacts and background effects) and provide an assessment of the relevance of lab analyses and their interpretation (sample sizes for the analysis, uncertainty of the analysis).
Elsevier, TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 109, December 2018
The Mediterranean Sea is affected by one of the most significant plastic pollution worldwide. This review critically evaluates the most recent literature on the presence of microplastics in sediments, suggested to be long term sinks and have a high potential to accumulate this kind of marine debris. A picture of microplastic levels in coastal environments is given, evidencing information gaps and considering also estuary, lagoons and areas influenced by the contribution of rivers. A wide range of contamination levels has been found, with the highest in lagoon and estuary environments.

TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 109, December 2018

Explore in-depth analysis on microplastic pollution in soil, its ecological risks, and innovative analytical methods for managing this emerging challenge.
Microplastics pollution in aquatic ecosystems has aroused increasing global concern, leading to an explosive growth of studies regarding microplastics published in the past few years. To date, there is still a lack of standardized methodologies used for the detection of microplastics within environmental samples, thus hampering comparison of the reported data.
Clarifying the scope and activity within the large field of artificial intelligence (AI) can help research leaders, policymakers, funders and investors, and the public navigate AI and understand how it has evolved over time. In doing so, this report provides clues to where AI is headed and how policies might be shaped to continue making advances in a responsible way, contributing to SDG 9.
Elsevier, Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Volume 137, October 2018
A policy and research agenda has emerged in recent years to understand the interconnected risks natural resource systems face and drive. The so-called ‘Food-Energy-Water’ (FEW) nexus has served as a focal point for the conceptual, theoretical and empirical development of this agenda. This special issue provides an opportunity to reflect on whether natural resource use, as viewed through the FEW-nexus lens, provides a useful basis for guiding integrated environmental management.