GEO Update

GEO Included in G7 Ministers´ Communiques

GEO and G7 logos

Results of GEO Engagement in 2016 G7 Process

The G7 Environment Ministers and the G7 Science and Technology Ministers have included several statements (see below) relating to GEO/GEOSS and the importance of Earth observations in addressing global challenges (open science, climate change and oceans) in their respective Communiques issued at the conclusion of their 2016 meetings held in Japan in May. 

Under the leadership and guidance of Japan GEO, and with the active participation of the other GEO/G7 governments (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, UK, US) and the European Commission, this successful outcome is the result of a concerted effort begun at the GEO-XII Plenary last November, that built on GEO's positive engagement in the 2015 G7 process. 

The Environment and Science and Technology Ministerial language provides an opportunity for GEO Principals to further engage with the relevant national Ministries to develop deeper cross-government collaboration in several of GEO's priority areas, and for potential national policy mandates that could help anchor current and future GEO Flagships. 

The multi-government collaboration undertaken in GEO's ongoing, successful G7 engagement exemplifies GEO's potential to ensure that the value of Earth observation data and information is incorporated into the deliberations and decision-making at the highest levels of government. 

G7 Environment Ministers 2016 Communique
GEO/Earth observations-related language

Climate Change and Related Measures

Mitigation measures including market-based approaches

40. The development and deployment of innovative technologies is essential to carry out transformational and long-term measures to address climate change. Some of these technologies are already at their deployment stage. Policy support is required, especially for the diffusion of low-carbon technology and products at its initial phase in all countries. We recognize that market mechanisms can support diffusion of leading low-carbon technologies and products globally. We encourage G7 partners and other governments to share good practices and lessons learnt through the implementation of domestic and international market instruments, inter alia Japan's Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM). We recognize the necessity of robust earth observations to enhance our ability to measure and monitor GHG emissions.

G7 Science and Technology Ministers 2016 Communique
GEO/Earth observations-related language

6: Open Science Entering into a New Era for Science:

Putting into Practice New Framework of Research and Knowledge Discovery, Sharing, and Utilization through Openness

Open science enables broad and straightforward access to and use of the results of publicly funded research (e.g. scholarly publications and resultant data sets) not only for academics, but also the private sector and the general public more broadly. Fundamental to the progress of open science is the continued investment by governments and others, such as the Group on Earth Observations’ Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), in suitable infrastructures and services for data collection, analysis, preservation and dissemination. These systems and services offer a new approach to research, creating the possibilities for new scientific developments and increasing the returns from government investment in research. We endorsed this approach and decided to promote open science, taking in to account the particular characteristics of individual research fields.

In addition, the Oceans section of the communique echoes some of the perspectives GEO and Blue Planet put forward in their respective communications. This language should provide a strong foundation for GEO to work even more closely with the G7 governments on ocean observation issues:

3: The Future of the Seas and Oceans:

Toward Science‐Based Management, Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Oceans, Seas and Marine Resources

The seas and oceans are changing rapidly, with overuse and destruction of marine habitats, warming, increased ocean acidity and depleted oxygen. The health of the oceans has rightly been recognized as a crucial economic development issue and was included as the United Nations sustainable developments goal 14 (SDG 14). * Despite this progress, many parts of the ocean interior are not sufficiently observed. Acknowledging all the above, we believe that it is crucial to develop far stronger scientific knowledge necessary to assess the ongoing changes and their impact on economies. We must also develop appropriate policies to ensure the sustainable use of the seas and oceans. Therefore, we welcome the progress and recommendation by the G7 expert working group on the Future of the Seas and Oceans (see Attached 2).

In support of the achievement of the SDG14 and other relevant goals and of the objectives of related conventions, we support taking the following actions:

i. Support the development of an initiative for enhanced global sea and ocean observation required to monitor inter alia climate change and marine biodiversity, e.g. through the Global Argo Network and other observation platforms, while fully sustaining and coordinating with ongoing observation;

ii. Support an enhanced system of ocean assessment through the UN Regular Process to develop a consensus view on the state of the oceans, working to a regular timescale which would enable sustainable management strategies to be developed and implemented across the G7 group and beyond;

iii. Promote open science and the improvement of the global data sharing infrastructure to ensure the discoverability, accessibility, and interoperability of a wide range of ocean and marine data;

iv. Strengthen collaborative approaches to encourage the development of regional observing capabilities and knowledge networks in a coordinated and coherent way, including supporting the capacity building of developing countries; and

v. Promote increased G7 political‐cooperation by identifying additional actions needed to enhance future routine ocean observations.

We agree to maintain the expert group as a future Working Group to advance G7 action in this domain.

May 2016