The “Cold Regions”, including the Arctic, Antarctic, high-latitude oceans, Himalaya-Third Pole and Mountain cold areas, are experiencing the fastest rate of climate, ecological and environmental change. With its abundant Earth water and relevant phase changing, the cold regions severely affect the dynamic earth’s systems, impact more than one hundred countries of billions of people living therein, and influence many aspects of society in all parts of the world. Scientific research is making it increasingly clear that “What happens in the poles doesn’t stay in the poles”.
Building on its accomplishments during the first ten years implementation of GEOSS, the Information Service for Cold Regions (GEOCRI) was proposed to be a Global Initiative (GI) in the transitional work program. Later in September, 2016, GEOCRI was recommended to the next implementation of GEOSS (2017-2019). GEOCRI is also a Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) endorsed activity since 2015.
The vision of GEOCRI is to provide coordinated Earth observations and information services across a range of stakeholders to facilitate well-informed decisions and support the sustainable development of the cold regions globally. The GEOCRI mission is to develop a user-driven approach for Cold Regions information services to complement the mainly current science-driven efforts, which will strengthen synergies between the environmental, climate, and cryosphere research efforts and foster the collaboration for improved earth observations and information on a global scale.
Activities for the Work Plan period of 2017-2019
The activities conducted in GEOCRI are grouped into six thematically overarching Tasks: 1) Infrastructures, 2) Monitoring Network and Data, 3) In-situ and Remote Sensing Integration, 4) User Engagement and Communication, 5) Capacity Building and Knowledge Transfer, and 6) Management and Monitoring. The tasks –coordinated by Task Teams- and related activities are the fundamental elements for liaison, coordination, implementation and reporting. Contributors can assign themselves to work for different tasks and related activities; these will form Task Teams. Task Teams will decide on the planning and responsibilities of their activities, and the set milestones and deliverables will be reported to the co-leads and presented to contributors who will provide feedback. Activities are prioritized by the co-lead group, and later by the science/advisory group once established in 2017.
GEOCRI user engagement will be done by utilizing several modalities ranging from face-to-face events and capacity building to on-line surveys and - ultimately - operational services developed in contact with the users, including scientists, policy-makers, industry, business/commerce, students, and local communities.
In 2017-2019, the initial stage of activities by the User Engagement and Communication Task Team will include the identification of current and potential user communities, and their specific features, and consultation with these user communities about their needs and expectations on the content and modality of the information services that they would like GEOCRI to offer. The ESA, EU H2020 and other national polar and cold region observation projects, the Copernicus Climate Change service, and user requirement conferences, as well as sets of dedicated tools from the newly granted projects are good examples and approaches in assessing the user requirements and advancing the user engagement.
By leveraging the global visibility and convening power of GEO, GEOCRI will setup the pilot services and implement the coordinated network of those services. It will make a positive contribution to national, regional and international decision-making processes and science strategies. GEOCRI, via its contributors, feeds reliable, science-based Earth observation data and information for policy makers, enabling better, well-informed and more effective decisions in cold regions and beyond. GEOCRI will work towards supporting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the COP21 Paris Agreement and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.
GEOCRI’s resources are predominantly in-kind efforts, aimed at leveraging the resources of participating initiatives and organizations to align with GEOCRI’s objectives. Contributions include:
Point of Contact
Members: Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, USA, UK.
Participating Organizations: ICIMOD, ISDE, SAON, and WMO.
Others: Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF).
Linkages across the Work Programme
Flagships: GEO BON, GEOGLAM, GFOI.
Initiatives: AmeriGEOSS; AOGEOSS; Earth Observations in Service of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; GEO-DARMA; GEO ECO; GEOGLOWS; GEO-GNOME; GSNL; GWIS.
Leadership & Contributors (this list is being populated)
University of Waterloo
Beijing Normal University
University of Oulu
University of Colorado
GEO Sec Rep