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Month: January, 2013

MDGs PROGRESS: News related to report of 2012 MDGs progress and challenges from the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

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Achievements:

  • Projected estimates indicate that the global poverty rate of $1.25 a day fell in 2010 to less than half the 1990 rate.  If this is true, the first target of the MDGs—cutting the extreme poverty rate to half its 1990 level—will be achieved globally well ahead of 2015.
  • Also, the target of reducing by half – the number of people without access to safe drinking water was also met by 2010, with the proportion of people using an improved water source rising from 76 per cent in 1990 to 89 per cent in 2010.  Between 1990 and 2010, over two billion people gained access to improved drinking water sources, such as piped supplies and protected wells.
  • Many countries facing challenging obstacles have made significant strides towards universal primary education. Enrollment rates for primary schools increased remarkably in sub-Saharan Africa, from 58 to 76 per cent between 1999 and 2010.
  • Global malaria deaths have declined by 17 percent since 2000. Over the same period, malaria related mortality rates have declined by 25 percent.             

Despite these gains, there is still a lot of work to be done.

  • Progress has stalled for MDGs after multiple world crises occurred between 2008-2009.  In fact, the goal to decrease maternal mortality by 2015 is modest at best along with the slow decline in adolescent pregnancies and increased access to contraceptives.
  • Claims of improved water sources met by 2010, apply disproportionately to urban populations; improved water sources remain low in rural areas.  Nearly half of the population in developing regions—2.5 billion—still lacks access to improved sanitation facilities.  By 2015, the world will have reached only sixty-seven (67) percent coverage, well short of the 75 percent needed to achieve the MDG target.
  • Gender inequality persists and women continue to face discrimination in access to education, work and economic assets, and participation in government.  Violence against women continues to undermine efforts to reach all goals.  Further progress to 2015 and beyond will largely depend on success on these interrelated challenges
  • The most recent estimates of undernourishment set the mark at 850 million people living in hunger around the world between 2006-2008. This number makes up 15.5 percent of the world population.  This continuing high level reflects the lack of progress on hunger in several regions, even as income poverty has decreased.

For more information please visit:

Department of Economic and Social Affairs:
http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/newsletter/desanews/feature/2013/01/index.html#5642\

United Nations MDG Progress Report
http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/Resources/Static/Products/Progress2012/English2012.pdf 
 
*ICGC will continue to highlight MDGs progress in upcoming newsletters and blogposts.

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GIS & MEP: Why GIS Works For Us

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Click on image or this caption for a Saint Raphael (Haiti) Interactive Map

     The Institute for Conscious Global Change, Inc (ICGC) has an innovative and revolutionary plan to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) post 2015.  The objective of the “Millennium Earth Project” (MEP) is to construct a virtual globe to act as an online library of maps and 3D infrastructure models. Initially Millennium Earth will focus on the 49 least developed countries in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, but eventually this will expand to include developing and developed countries as well. You might ask yourself, how does GIS (Geographic Information Systems)  allow for this and what role does GIS play in MEP specifically?  

     This is a great question; in fact, GIS is indispensable for our work towards achieving the MDGs. Comprehensive development is a complex issue that requires in-depth, site-specific knowledge and analysis in order to develop culturally sensitive strategies for improving the quality of life. This is where GIS comes in. GIS is a  technology that allows users to create maps of the current landscape, search and manipulate data and design  spatial models of planned landscapes. ICGC chose GIS because it provides a unique opportunity to visually display several features of each country’s development. MEP utilizes the latest GIS software to create 3D models of city infrastructure complete with site photos and construction drawings. In order to accurately depict the uniqueness of each country’s issues, MEP collects extensive primary data and secondary data for each of the 49 Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

     This research will provide the important details our maps need for analysts to better understand the needs of each country, as well as what changes must be made to transition each country towards a “developed” status. GIS analysts overlay multiple elements in the same map and utilize color-coded symbols to represent the important spatial aspects of development statistics, demographics, natural resources and other physical landform features. These maps will encompass a “virtual globe” and illustrate current issues hindering development in each LDC.

     These elements combined will provide a juxtaposition of each country’s current and planned states. This comparison will act as a developmental roadmap, allowing policymakers, country representatives, civil society organizations and relevant stakeholders to effectively analyze and interpret each country’s  pathway to development. ICGC believes GIS and the MEP are the holistic and revolutionary “outside of the box” solutions needed for achieving a virtual MDG plan pre and post 2015. 

     We would like to thank ESRI for donating the ArcGIS Desktop licenses needed to develop the core of our work on the Millennium Earth Project.  ESRI is also providing valuable support and consultation with our Haiti (Saint Raphael) Prototype.