The broad range of data and information needed to effectively monitor land-related indicators in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework has been either inaccessible, unavailable, or dispersed across various repositories. In the wake of the UN Decade of Action, land actors globally including the custodian agencies responsible for monitoring and reporting on land indicators in the SDGs framework are challenged to step up their efforts to accelerate access to disaggregated land data for policy decisions that leave no one behind. Access to regular, quality, and sex-disaggregated land data is key to measuring progress on key targets in the SDGs including those related to fighting poverty, increasing food security, gender equality and rights, access to adequate housing and achieving land degradation neutrality.
The land-related indicators are all classified as Tier II or I. Tier II means that indicators have conceptual clarity, an internationally agreed comparable methodology and standards for data collection and computing the indicators as developed by custodians in collaboration with NSOs, land administration institutions and stakeholders. To achieve Tier I status, at least 50 percent of all countries in all regions including small islands and states need to be reporting on the indicators regularly. In addition to the challenges of upgrading to Tier I, the COVID-19 pandemic has impeded the data collection, monitoring, and reporting of custodian agencies, organisations, and other data agencies.
Originally established by the Land Portal Foundation and the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) in 2017 with the financial support of the Omidyar Network and long-term support of the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the SDG Land Tracker is maintained with ongoing support from Germany's Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Indicator narratives are updated in concert with custodian agencies, which are United Nations bodies and other international organizations responsible for compiling and verifying country data and metadata, and for submitting the data, along with regional and global aggregates, to the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD).