News in 2022

FIG and the sustainable Development Goals - Commission 6

March, 2022

FIG Task Force on FIG and the Sustainable Development Goals together with the ten Commissions have worked on their role on the sustainable development goals relevant for their Commission.

Commission Chair Maria Joaoh Henriques gives her Statement on the sustainable development goals in relation to Commission 6 - Engineering Surveys

Chair Maria Joao Henriques of Commission 6, Engineering Surveys, reflects on the contribution of the surveying engineers to the SDGs: “The high quality achieved by engineering surveyors is the result of the work of teams with good technical knowledge, with this surveyor acting prominently in the creation and coordination of these teams. Essential for the success of these teams is that engineering surveyors transmit their knowledge to the members of the team, thus improving the overall quality of the team and of the results. For this reason, engineering surveyors are already contributing to the goal ‘Quality Education’ (goal n. º 4). The 5th goal (‘Gender Equality’) must be considered a key goal, one that must be applied not only by these professionals but by all specialists in geospatial positioning and society in general. Proper application of the rules described above will ultimately lead to a reduction in inequalities and the achievement of goal n. º 10 (‘Reduced Inequality’).

 Besides the general contribution to the goals mentioned above, also other SDG's are within the scope of the action of Commission 6:

  • 6 Clean Water and Sanitation
  • 7 Affordable and Clean Energy
  • 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 13 Climate Action

How do you include the SDG's in your daily work?

As explained, good results in engineering surveying, suitable for the purpose in view, are dependent on several factors: adequate equipment, appropriate methodologies and a motivated team with the necessary skills. These skills come from different sources: they can come from school education (at different levels) but also from the experience transmitted by the most knowledgeable co-workers.

Thousands of surveying engineering teams are working in different parts of the world, many associated with projects that are of vital importance for the survival and well-being of populations (as examples, the supply of goods such as water, electricity or sewage systems, transport infrastructures and buildings such as hospitals or schools) in the lesser developed countries, small island developing States and African countries.

This work, and the way it is developed, contributes to many of the sustainable development goals adopted by United Nations member states.

What are inspiring examples of how FIG members and delegates have contributed to the achievement of the SDGs (e.g. refer to a paper, project or publication)?

Concerning equipment, drones are a good example: these are playing a key role, contributing with vital information where there was none. A good example is presented in the paper “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for Topographical Mapping of Inaccessible Land Areas in Ghana: A Cost-Effective Approach”.

Of course more examples can be derived from the output of commission 6, either presented at the most important events of the FIG (congresses and working weeks) or at the specialized symposiums focused on the themes of this commission as well as on the homepage of the commission.

What else can FIG do (more) to provide leadership and raise awareness on the SDG's?

Delegates and all those that follow closely the activity of FIG should, by now, already be aware of the objectives of the SDG and that they can contribute to its realization. However, it is true that globally they seem to be unattainable by 2030. Yet, for purposes of awareness, it remains important to keep in mind that there are tasks within each goal and that these can be attainable. At this stage, since much has been publicized by FIG about the goals, focusing attention only on some tasks may be simpler and, as mentioned, easier to be achieved. As a commission we will have support in this process.

Maria Joao Henriques and Paula Dijkstra
March 2022