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Sierra Leone and El Salvador join the Group on Earth Observations global community

News / 12 September 2019

Sierra Leone and El Salvador are the newest Governments to join the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) as members, inducted officially as the 106th and 107th countries in GEO.

GEO is committed to supporting developing nations to benefit from globally shared and accessed Earth observation resources, data and information. Based on the principles of open data sharing, GEO offers all countries the opportunity to benefit from collective knowledge, expertise and skills to develop their own national Earth observation programmes.

Expanding Regional Presence in Africa and the Americas

Throughout the course of 2019, South Africa, as the Lead Co-Chair of the GEO Executive Committee has been actively supporting governments across Africa to learn more and get engaged in the work of GEO.  The recent RCMRD International Conference and AfriGEO Symposium in Nairobi, Kenya from 13-16 August helped encourage new members from the region to get involved with the GEO Work Programme. With the recent launch of the Digital Earth Africa initiative, Earth observation products are being developed to address the challenges facing African nations.

Aerial image of Bo, Sierra Leone
Aerial image of Bo, Sierra Leone
Aerial image of Bo, Sierra Leone
Aerial image of Bo, Sierra Leone

“We are happy to join many other African countries in this most important activity using Earth observations to support national, continental and international policy development to address key issues we face today, such as land degradation neutrality, water resources management and food security,” Mohamed Rahman Swaray, the Minister of Information and Communications in Sierra Leone stated.

Similarly in the Americas region, the AmeriGEO Week 2019 from 19 to 23 August in Lima, Peru and helped to focus on areas identified by the region as highest priority, including water, agriculture, disaster, and biodiversity in ecosystems. A key activity of the event was to provide training on the use of Earth observations through seven different courses covering topics, such as Synthetic Aperture Radar, and global streamflow services in support of national/regional water priorities.

Los Planes de Renderos, San Salvador, El Salvador
Los Planes de Renderos, San Salvador, El Salvador
Los Planes de Renderos, San Salvador, El Salvador
Los Planes de Renderos, San Salvador, El Salvador

In addition to endorsing the GEO Strategic Plan 2016-2020: Implementing GEOSS, all GEO members are encouraged to support the future success of GEO with a voluntary contribution to the GEO Trust Fund.

Both Sierra Leone and El Salvador have been invited to participate in the upcoming GEO Week Ministerial Summit in Canberra, Australia from 4-9 November, 2019. This event brings together Earth observation experts from around the world to ensure EO data and knowledge supports decision makers.

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