CBAS organized BRICS Forum on Big Data for Sustainable Development

04 28, 2022

The BRICS Forum on Big Data for Sustainable Development was held in Beijing both online and offline from 26-27 April, 2022. The forum was proposed by China during the speech of Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 13th BRICS Summit last year entitled “Advance BRICS Cooperation to Meet Common Challenges Together”.

The two-day event, hosted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC), the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), as well as the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), was organized by CBAS and CAS Aerospace Information Research Institute.

The forum sought to provide an academic platform for over 400 participants from both the BRICS and other 27 countries to explore how to address common challenges to sustainable development through international cooperation in science, technology, and innovation, particularly through the lens of big data.

Representatives of the five BRICS Science Academies attended the opening ceremony in person or virtually to deliver opening remarks. Entrusted by CAS President Prof. Hou Jianguo, Prof. Zhang Yaping, CAS Vice President, attended the opening ceremony and delivered Prof. Hou’s opening remarks. Prof. Hou pointed out that this forum is supposed to provide an opportunity for the BRICS Science Academies to join hands and forge a technological “toolbox” addressing risks and challenges, accumulate the “treasure” of digital development, build a “bridge” for the exchanges and communication of BRICS countries, as well as draw a “blueprint” for a community with a shared future for mankind.

ASSAf President Prof. Jonathan Jansen highlighted the significance of big data in local successful applications as well as non-government cooperation in multiple sectors in ensuring development.

ABC President Prof. Luiz Davidovich addressed sustainability solutions and the significance of public awareness and participation.

RAS President Prof. Alexander Sergeev mentioned that technological transformation has changed the entire world in decision-making mechanisms, and emphasized the importance of open approaches in developing technologies.

INSA Vice President Prof. Narinder Kumar Mehra emphasized the value of big data in answering health care challenges during the pandemic. He acknowledged excellent platforms to share success cases under the BRICS scheme, while also calling for the incorporation of big data into official statistics and collaboration on the development of data policies.

Keynote presentations were delivered by Prof. Guo Huadong, Director General of CBAS, and Prof. Arutyun I. Avetisyan, Deputy President of RAS, with the titles of “Big Data in Facilitating Sustainable Development Goals” and “Sustainable Development Model for Big Data Technologies” respectively. Prof. Guo pointed out multiple challenges compounded by the pandemic, and he called for closer ties through science, technology, and innovations to support the UN 2030 Agenda. Prof. Avetisyan called for a trusted system of big data with its core technologies open for scientists, industries and stakeholders around the world.

During this forum, CBAS released the Sustainable Development Data Products for BRICS Countries, which are expected to provide data support for research on the SDGs. The products included a data product of SDGSAT-1 for BRICS countries, a global 30-m impervious-surface dynamic dataset in 2000-2020, the spatial distribution of core urban built-areas in major BRICS cities with population over 300,000 in 2000-2020, and the global 30-m spatial distribution of forest cover in 2020.

Invited remarks were given by Mr. Cheng Jingye, Ambassador of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Shahbaz Khan, Director of UNESCO Beijing Office, Prof. Barend Mons, President of Committee on Data of International Science Council (CODATA), Ms. Barbara Ryan, Executive Director of World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC), Prof. Markku Tapio Kulmala, Academician of the Academy of Finland, and Ms. Monthip Sriratana, Director of Climate Change Research Strategies Center under the National Research Council of Thailand.

The forum also held five parallel sessions on the topics including food security and poverty alleviation, digital economy, urban development, climate actions and disaster reduction, and biodiversity conservation.

Representatives from the BRICS Science Academies delivering opening remarks

                                                                                         Prof. Guo Huadong and Prof. Arutyun I. Avetisyan delivering keynote speeches

                                                                                                                       Invited speakers from scientific community and above