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Collaboration between WGIC and UNSD, marks a new milestone for strengthening global geospatial information ecosystem 

Geospatial World Forum 2019, bringing together more than a thousand industry thought leaders from over 75 countries in Amsterdam, had a great start in the evening even before the opening day. The World Geospatial Industry Council [WGIC] and the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), Secretariat for the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM), signed an agreement to collaborate and work towards demonstrating the comprehensive value and utility of geospatial knowledge and data systems as core enablers for attainment of the global development agendas, including the SDGs. 

WGIC, as a global geospatial industry association, is committed to promote geospatial value and strengthen its contribution to the world economy, society and the environment. By encouraging engagement and collaboration with stakeholders from the geospatial industry, multilaterals, industry associations and user communities, it aims to build an integrated platform for the geospatial industry to support perspectives on policies and develop geospatial networks to foster alliances within the industry and with associated organizations for a sustainable world.

The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) is the apex entity of the global statistical and geospatial systems, and supporting the work of UN-GGIM and the United Nations Statistics Commission. By compiling and disseminating global statistical and geospatial information, it develops standards and norms for statistical and geospatial activities to strengthen national geospatial information systems of UN member countries and for achievement of the SDGs in their respective national circumstances.

The synergies between WGIC and UNSD are anchored in the vision and common mandates of both organizations, which is to create an enabling environment for the advancement of geospatial information and technologies and amplify its contribution in the implementation and monitoring of the SDG’s and to address key global challenges.

“WGIC was formally announced during the 8thSession of UN-GGIM on August 1, 2019”, stated Jack Dangermond, President - ESRI and Chairman of the World Geospatial Industry Council. “And this collaboration with UNSD paves the way for bringing a greater and enduring professional dimension in preparation of a public-private framework for geospatial policies and standardization of best practices. This association further supports the integration of collective capabilities of both organizations for steering innovation and utilization of geospatial knowledge for sustainable development goals.” 

Stefan Schweinfest, Director, UNSD, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, expressed that “in today’s modern world, with the proliferation of more data every day and so many enabling technologies to analyse, model and disseminate this data, we need to make the most of our combined, and limited, capabilities and resources, and to ensure that no one is being left behind as we strive to achieve sustainable development. This requires public-private partnerships now more than ever before – as demonstrated by this association between our two organizations.” 

The association between WGIC and UNSD will set forth new benchmarks for public-private partnerships in the international arenas of statistical and data ecosystems. By working closely to develop joint programs and knowledge networks, the WGIC and UNSD will articulate frameworks that will inspire strategic relevance and wider adoption of geospatial technologies for public and global good.

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