Science & Technology in Action

14th Edition

Ireland’s Sustainable Development – the impact of maps

Ordnance Survey Ireland

Sustainable development aims to provide an acceptable standard of living for existing generations without damaging the prospects for future generations, that is, without exhausting our natural resources or damaging the environment. Geospatial data, combined with accurate location maps, provides the critical tool for planning the actions necessary to accomplish these objectives.
Download Lesson Kit

Contains the full lesson along with a supporting toolkit, including teachers’ notes.

Lesson excerpt

For many years, it has been accepted that economic and other forms of development can cause serious damage to our environment. Our atmosphere can be polluted, as can our water supplies. Even small changes in our climate could cause serious flooding or drought. There are many other possible outcomes, each posing a threat to human health and wellbeing and, indeed, to all forms of life. Renewed concern has resulted in a detailed updating of agreed approaches to these problems. The result is The 2030 Agenda, initially adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations including Ireland www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment. The Agenda requires countries to take action to achieve 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In this lesson we discuss the objectives of this plan and illustrate how maps play a central role in the development and monitoring of such ambitious projects.

What is sustainable development?

Sustainable development (SD) means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Essentially, it is an attempt to provide an acceptable standard of life for existing generations without damaging the prospects for future generations. The broad objective here is a society where economic prosperity provides a good standard of living, without exhausting our natural resources or damaging the environment, To accomplish these outcomes, a development plan must address economic, environmental and social considerations. This is graphically illustrated by the 5P model (download lesson). No ‘P’ should be excluded.

Download the lesson to find out more.

True or False?

  1. The CEO of OSi is Ireland’s representative on the UN Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management. true
  2. Ireland’s Protected Areas are categorised under three headings. true
  3. Computer programming is the most important skill in the geospatial industry. true
  4. Agenda 2030 targets 17 Sustainable Development Goals. true
  5. Methods for integrating statistics with other geospatial information require improvement. true
  6. The term ‘geospatial’ is a synonym for ‘Geographical Information System’. false
  7. Agenda 2030 does not include any social goals. false
  8. The term ‘geo’ comes from the Greek word for ‘earth’. true
  9. Maps were not used to solve public health problems before the 20th Century. true
  10. http://irelandsdg.geohive.ie/ provides information on Ireland’s sustainable development. true