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GEOGLAM develops governance structure and draft work plan

Leaders of the GEO Agricultural Task met in Geneva from 18 to 20 January 2012 to advance the work plan for the G20 initiative on food security and transparency. The discussions focused on the deliverables, benefits, stakeholders, building blocks, and implementation structure of the GEO Global Agriculture Monitoring (GEOGLAM) initiative.

They also addressed the links with the G20 Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS), the leadership for the various GEOGLAM building blocks, and the governance model. A draft work plan based on these elements is being developed and was circulated to the Agricultural Community of Practice for comments in late February. All of these issues will be further reviewed by the G20 later in March.

Last year, the G20 asked GEO to support improved crop production through the enhanced use of remote sensing, in situ weather networks and other modern Earth observation tools. In response, GEOGLAM is building a coordinated network for monitoring agricultural production. GEOGLAM will also serve as a useful input for AMIS, which seeks to provide more accurate information and data for corn, rice, soybean and wheat crops.

The meeting decided that GEOGLAM should be organized around four building blocks: the harmonization of global and regional systems that monitor the crops of the big producers and exporters, coordination of satellite observations, capacity development in developing countries, and support for countries-at-risk. The leads of the four building blocks will together form a coordinating committee.

The governance model agreed at the Geneva meeting calls for establishing a project office and a steering committee. The committee will consist of representatives from the G20, donors, stakeholders, and the GEO Secretariat. Its role is to provide guidance on key issues such as targets, budgetary control, a marketing strategy and resource allocation. 

The project office consists of a project manager, the Task team leaders of the four blocks, and Secretariat experts. The roles of the project office are technical coordination, fund raising, funding management and accounting, reporting, and assuring institutional linkages. The office reports to the GEOGLAM Steering Committee for overall guidance, and it organizes periodic meetings of the coordination committee. It also plans to report to the GEO Executive Committee whenever required and to the GEO Plenary on a yearly basis.