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SPIE Professional April 2016

Optics, photonics can help achieve UN sustainable development goals

World leaders adopted 17 goals for sustainable development at the UN Sustainable Development summit in September 2015.

These sustainable development goals are designed to stimulate action over the next 15 years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet.

Optics and photonics are important tools for achieving these goals, especially those aimed at ending poverty and hunger and improving health and quality education.

The sustainable development goals utilizing optics and photonics include:

  • connecting underserved communities and businesses with optically driven internet and cell phone networks to enable inclusion in the world market
  • promoting sustainable agriculture with the use of LIDAR and other remote-sensing technologies to aid in pest control
  • promoting health and wellbeing by providing eye examinations and inexpensive, adjustable glasses to the visually impaired in underserved communities
  • ensuring inclusive and quality education through programs such as the One Laptop per Child project

A new SPIE poster illustrates ways in which SPIE members can join in the UN agenda to achieve these goals by 2030. The full -color poster lists the 17 goals and describes the actions taken to meet those SDGs involving optics and photonics.

For a free copy, email pascale@spie.org.

DOI: 10.1117/2.4201604.02

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