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Societal Benefit Areas (SBAs)


Societal Benefit Areas

Societal Benefit Areas (SBAs) are the domains in which Earth observations are translated into support for decision-making. GEO facilitates the development of solutions to societal challenges within these SBAs by mobilizing resources including observations, science, modelling and applications, to enable end-to-end systems and deliver services for users.

Climate change and its impacts cut across all SBAs, and GEO works to supply the requisite Earth observations in support of effective policy responses for climate change adaptation, mitigation and other impacts across the SBAs.


GEO strengthens conservation, restoration and sustainable management of ecosystems through Earth observation data, contributing to the Convention on Biodiversity and other Multilateral Environmental Agreements.

GEO activities aim to achieve a substantial reduction of losses of life and property from natural disasters through disaster mapping and better mitigation and response, working on the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction.

Fossil fuel energy use accounts for more than two thirds of greenhouse gas emissions. Earth observations can be used to increase the global share of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power. Renewable energy sources, in combination with energy efficiency, help limit a further rise in global temperature, in line with The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Paris Agreement.

Earth observations combined with other agricultural data contribute to crop monitoring to counter food insecurity, a commitment upheld by all states under Sustainable Development Goal 2, zero hunger.

Earth observations support for planning, monitoring and management of infrastructure (dams, roads, rail, ports and pipelines) and transportation (air, land and sea). EO to meet and measure Sustainable Development Goal 9, build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

Public health alerts on air quality, weather extremes, water-related illness, vector-borne disease, and assessments of access to health facilities are informed by Earth observations and help to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3 on Good Health and Wellbeing.

Use of Earth observations in the development of resilient cities and assessment of urban footprints can promote equity, welfare and shared prosperity for all levels of human settlement. EO can foster national urban planning and show land change over time to support the Quito implementation plan for the New Urban Agenda.

The GEO community supports the accessibility and sustainable management of water resources and sanitation through the application of Earth observations for sound science-based public policies, modeling and data integration. Water is central to all aspects of life.