Relevance of Open Data Towards a Sustainable Environment

25 March 2019, 08:23

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The African Open Science Platform (AOSP) hosted a session titled Relevance of Open Data Towards a Sustainable Environment at the 2018 Science Forum South Africa (SFSA). The session focused on data in priority disciplines. The AOSP project is managed by ASSAf.

Three speakers from African countries presented. Ms Eiman Karar, Senior Advisor at the United Nations Environmental Programme in Sudan focused on water data, highlighting the inequality to accessing water on the continent. Dr Mohamed El-Hadidi, Assistant Professor of Bioinformatics at the Nile University in Egypt focused on genomic data and illustrated how data from genomics could be used to address the sustainable development goals, i.e. allowing plant breeders to access and identify variation in genomes that are useful for crop improvement, addressing sustainable development goal 2, namely “zero hunger”. Dr Suzanne Smit, an executive board member of the Urban Modelling and Metabolism Assessment (uMAMA) research group based at Stellenbosch University presented on planning, measuring and monitoring in building sustainable cities in urban Africa, which speaks to sustainable development goal 11. According to Dr Smit, data from the informal settlements are required to inform housing policies. Slums are dynamic, and more frequent and current data are needed from these areas.