Documents

Publications

Earth Observations and Geospatial Information: Supporting Official Statistics in Monitoring the SDGs (March 2016)

In adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, world leaders agreed that a global indicator framework would be an essential tool to measure, monitor and report progress on achieving the 17 transformational Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 associated Targets. They also recognized the critical importance of "transparent and accountable scaling-up of appropriate public-private cooperation to exploit the contribution to be made by a wide range of data, including earth observation and geospatial information, while ensuring national ownership in supporting and tracking progress".

To track progress towards these Goals and Targets, the global indicator framework will also need to capture the multifaceted and ambitious aspirations for the continued development of nations and societies. Effective reporting of progress toward these indicators will require the use of multiple types of data, both what we have in hand - traditional national accounts, household surveys and routine administrative data – and new sources of data outside the national statistical system, namely Earth observation and geospatial information, and Big Data, in general.

 

 

The Value of Open Data Sharing (November 2015)

The Members and Participating Organizations of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) make their Earth observation and environmental data available through the GEO Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS) portal. The preferred approach of the organization is to provide open access and unrestricted use to those data through the GEOSS Data-CORE (Collection of Open Resources for Everyone). This approach has not been adopted by all the GEO participants, despite the call for even greater openness that is promoted by the revised GEO Data Sharing Principles for next decade.

The report was produced by CODATA specifically at the request of the GEO Secretariat in order to summarise arguments in favour of broad and open data sharing.

 

 

Nov 2014 AfriGEOSS brochure

AfriGEOSS: Building on Success (Nov 2014)

The development and uptake of Earth observation (EO) data, information and knowledge is critical to improving the socio-economic status of the African continent. The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Member States and Participating Organizations in Africa recognize the need to improve and coordinate observation systems across the nine GEO Societal Benefit Areas of agriculture, biodiversity, climate, disasters, ecosystems, energy, health, water and weather. Strong advocacy of open data-sharing policies and practices, as well as for the increased use of EO data and information, are the foundation of moving forward in these vital areas. Similarly, focusing significant effort on building both human and technological capabilities will ensure that all parts of the African continent can benefit from better access to, and understanding and use of, EO data, information and services. Click on the image on the right to download the report.

 

 

2011-2013 Report on Progress

Report on Progress 2011-2013 (2014)

GEO Members and Participating Organizations continue to improve and coordinate observation systems across the nine Societal Benefit Areas of agriculture, biodiversity, climate, disasters, ecosystems, energy, health, water and weather. The organization is a strong advocate for broad, open data-sharing policies and practices, as well as for the increased use of Earth observation (EO) data and information. Further, GEO continues to focus significant effort on building both human and technological capabilities to ensure that all parts of the world can benefit from better access to, understanding, and use of EO data, information and services. Click on the image on the right to download the report.

 

 

GEO-X 4-page flyer

GEO Fact Sheet (2014)

For developed and developing nations battling drought and disease, emergency managers making evacuation decisions, farmers making planting choices, companies evaluating energy costs, and coastal communities concerned about sea-level rise, there is a vital global and regional need to get ahead of the curve - to provide new analytical tools, access to timely data, and forecasts about emerging threats that enable wise choices in a changing world.

For nearly a decade, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) has been driving the interoperability of many thousands of individual space-based, airborne and in situ Earth observations around the world. Often these separate systems yield just snapshot assessments, leading to critical gaps in scientific understanding. GEO is addressing such gaps by providing easy, open access to organized observations that enable an increasingly integrated view of our changing Earth. For sound science to shape sound policy, leaders and other decision-makers require this fuller picture as an indispensable foundation of sound decision-making. The flyer can be downloaded by clicking on the image on the left.

 

 

 

d_city

D_City manifesto

The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) has sponsored two print runs of the D_City manifesto: the world's first comprehensive 'snapshot' report on efforts to create a networked environmental monitoring system. Click on the image to access this publication as an e-book.

 

 

 

Geneva Ministerial Summit flyer

Geneva Ministerial Summit flyer (2014)

The "Geneva Ministerial Summit flyer" provides an exerpt of recent GEO achievements that use analytical tools, to access timely data, and forecasts emerging threats that enable wise choices in a challenging world. The GEO achievements decsribed, address several societal challenges, as well as build technical capacity, develop information infrastructure and standards, and provide better access to data. The flyer can be downloaded by clicking on the image on the left.

 

 

 

 

Crafting geoinformation: the art and science of Earth observation, pdf, 11MB

Crafting geoinformation

"Crafting geoinformation: the art and science of Earth observation" takes the reader behind the scenes to watch how environmental data is gathered, processed, integrated and transformed into information for decision making. This full-color, image-driven publication was launched at the Beijing Ministerial in November 2010 and can be downloaded by clicking on the image on the right.

 

 

 

The GEO "Report on Progress" provides an overview of the advances made by GEO from 2005 through 2010, pdf, 5 MB

GEO Report on Progress

The GEO "Report on Progress" provides an overview of the advances made by GEO from 2005 through 2010 in launching and developing the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, or GEOSS. It includes brief descriptions of the contributions made to GEOSS by hundreds of government agencies and national and international agencies and organizations. The report can be downloaded by clicking on the image on the left.

 

 

 

The Full Picture, pdf, 18 MB

GEO brochure

“Observing the Earth and monitoring its host of complex systems is a role no one organization masters. GEO is providing the structure and opportunity for governments and organizations to actively seek better solutions for our changing planet. GEOSS as an emerging public infrastructure could prove as essential to economic and social progress in the 21st century as new transport and communications systems were in the 20th.” José Achache, GEO Secretariat Director. Read the GEO brochure

 

 

 

GEO Information Kit

GEO Information Kit

The GEO Information Kit is a collection of information sheets published in February 2008. The first two introductory sheets describe the Group on Earth Observations, and the “system of systems”, or GEOSS, that it is constructing. The next nine sheets explain the “Societal Benefit Areas”, or SBAs, which provide a convenient reference-frame for understanding GEO and GEOSS. None of these areas, of course, exists in isolation: much of the value of GEOSS lies in its ability to integrate information across disciplines. This collection therefore concludes with several sheets on issues that cut across, and are relevant to, all of the Societal Benefit Areas. Read the GEO Information Kit.

 

The Full Picture, pdf, 18 MB

The Full Picture

Launched in November 2007, the Full Picture is a full-colour publication detailing selected Early Achievements and other Earth observation projects and services. You can download "The Full Picture" by clicking on the image on the left.

 

 

 

GEOSS

The First 100 Steps to GEOSS

The Early Achievements that governments and organizations had contributed to GEOSS as of 2007 have each been summarized in a two-page brief and collected in a document entitled “The First 100 Steps to GEOSS”.

 

Ad Hoc GEO documents

Sixth Plenary Session of the Ad Hoc GEO (GEO-6)
14-15 February 2005, Brussels, Belgium
 
 

Presentations

 
Fifth Plenary Session of the Ad Hoc GEO (GEO-5)
29-30 November 2004, Ottawa, Canada
 
  • GEO-5 Summary
 

Presentations

  • Administrative Presentation
  • GEO-4 Summary
  • Draft GEOSS 10-Year Implementation Plan and Status Report on Reference Document
  • World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Proposal to Host GEO Secretariat
  • IGOS-P Input for the GEOSS 10-Year Implementation Plan
  • Transition Planning
  • Arrangements for GEO-6 and EO Summit III
 

Official Statements

  • “Watching the Globe Globally,” Statement by the Honourable Stéphane Dion, M.P., P.C, Minister of the Environment, Canada
  • Statement of the Honourable R. John Efford, P.C., M.P., Minister of Natural Resources, Canada
  • POGO Statement - Brest Communiqué Adopted by POGO at their Sixth Meeting at Brest, France (30 November 2004)
 
GEO Special Session on Governance
27-28 September 2004, Brussels, Belgium
 

Presentations

  • New Members and Interested Organizations
  • Governance in the 10-Year Implementation Plan
  • Previous Activities on GEO Governance
  • Analysis of Comments on Governance of GEOSS
  • Report of Resources Group Discussion
  • GEO Host Responsibilities
  • Possible Guidance Text for Consideration by the IPTT in Drafting the Governance Section of the GEOSS 10-Year Implementation Plan
  • Arrangements for GEO-5
  • Arrangements for GEO-6 and Third EO Summit
 

Official Statements

  • IGOS-P Statement: Value of the IGOS Partnership and its Themes for the GEO Implementation Process
  • Statement by Ambassador Raimundo Gonzalez, Chile
  • Suggestion on GEO Structure, China Delegation
 
Fourth Plenary Session of the Ad Hoc GEO (GEO-4)
22-23 April 2004, Tokyo, Japan
 
 
Third Plenary Session of the Ad Hoc GEO (GEO-3)
25-27 February 2004, Cape Town, South Africa
 
 
Second Plenary Session of the Ad Hoc GEO (GEO-2)
28-29 November, 2003, Baveno, Italy
 
 
First Plenary Session of the Ad Hoc GEO (GEO-1)
1-2 August 2003, Washington, D.C., USA
 

News Items

Earth Observations for Global Health: GEO welcomes World Health Organization partnership

 

The Arctic is changing faster than anywhere else on Earth and CAFF is measuring the effect on plants and animals

 

World Ecosystems in 9 Observations

 

GFOI Web Application to Help Countries Develop National Forest Monitoring Systems

 

GEO Included in G7 Ministers´ Communiques

 

AfriGEOSS Symposium Explores the Critical Role of Earth Observations Across Africa

 

Africa’s first High Frequency Radar System operational in Morocco

 

ASTER: substantial increase in orders of Earth observation images as a result of free and open data policy

 

Africa data on the GEOSS Portal through RCMRD

 

GEO-CRADLE establishes network and Data Hub for Earth Observation in MENA and the Balkans

 

Earth Observations For the Africa We Want

 

Arctic Observing Summit 2016 – What happens in the poles doesn’t stay in the poles.

 

Take part in the Data Revolution, here’s how.

 

New assets for GEOSS

 

Outcome of the GEO/UN and International Organizations Roundtable

 

Third MyGEOSS Call for innovative apps - Deadline 8 April

 

GEOCAB memorandum of understanding signed!

 

SciDataCon 2016: Call for Sessions and Programme Committee candidates

 

Group on Earth Observations supports Africa Space Policy and Strategy

 

Participating Organizations gain prominence

 

Earth Observation and Societal Benefits: Global issues and best practices session

 

The status of topographic mapping in the world. A UNGGIM-ISPRS project 2012-2015

 

Survey of GMES service users and other stakeholders

 

USGS Ups Ease of Use for Landsat Data

 

GEO Supports WMO Resolution to Increase Openness of Climate Data

 

World Elevation Data (30-meter mesh version) is now available at JAXA's site free of charge!

 

GEO Partners Respond to Nepal Earthquake, Satellite and Data Resources Available Online

 

Strengthening Earth observation capacities to support Senegal´s agriculture policy

 

INSPIRE-Geospatial World Forum Conference: Full conference programmes are now available.

 

GEO Engagement in the post-2015 Development Agenda

 

2010 Beijing Summit documents (5 November 2010)

Statements

EOS Summits documents

Third Earth Observation Summit (EOS III)
16 February 2005, Brussels, Belgium

(visit the EOS III website for more information)

 
Second Earth Observation Summit (EOS II)
25 April 2004, Tokyo, Japan

(visit the EOS II website for more information)

 
First Earth Observation Summit (EOS I)
31 July 2003, Washington, DC, USA
 
Eleventh Plenary Session of GEO (GEO-XI) - 13-14 November 2014 • Geneva, Switzerland
 

Final Documents

 

GEO-XI presentations:

Statements by Member Countries and Participating Organizations:

Second Plenary Session of GEO (GEO-II) - 14-15 December 2005 • Geneva, Switzerland
 

 Final Documents

First Plenary Session of the GEO (GEO-I) - 3-4 May 2005, Geneva, Switzerland
 

 Summary as adopted

 Agenda

 Presentations

GEO Branding

Here you can find the GEO logo in different formats to download. Right click the format of your choice and choose "save as"

How to Participate in GEO

The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is a voluntary organization and depends on the interest and energy of the international Earth observations and geospatial communities to reach its goals. There are many ways in which nations, organizations and individuals can contribute to the success of GEO and the establishment and implementation of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS):

Become a GEO Member

Membership in GEO is open to all member States of the United Nations and to the European Commission. Membership in GEO is contingent upon formal endorsement of the GEOSS 10-Year Implementation Plan. All members belong to a regional caucus.

The regional caucuses nominate members of the Executive Committee. Many of the caucuses also hold regional consultations or organize symposia and other events focused on the regional implementation of GEOSS. The five regional caucuses and their members are listed here. Membership in GEO does not require compulsory annual dues. Members are encouraged to contribute financial resources, to the greatest extent possible, in addition to the human, intellectual and programmatic resources needed to fully implement GEOSS.

To become a Member of GEO, please contact the GEO Secretariat at secretariat@geosec.org

Become a Participating Organization (PO)

GEO's Member governments welcome the engagement of Participating Organizations (PO). The participation of intergovernmental, international, and regional organizations with a mandate in Earth observation or related activities is essential to the success of GEO and GEOSS. Participation in GEO is contingent upon formal endorsement of the GEOSS 10-Year Implementation Plan and approval by GEO Members meeting in Plenary.

Currently, there are 77 Participating Organizations in GEO, which are listed here.

For more information about becoming a Participating Organization, please contact the GEO Secretariat at secretariat@geosec.org.

Become/Provide a Secondee to the GEO Secretariat

Members and Participating Organizations are asked to consider providing secondments to the GEO Secretariat, to work under the direction and guidance of the GEO Secretariat Director. These individuals make a significant impact realizing the objectives of GEO and further development and acceleration of GEOSS implementation through the 2012-2015 Work Plan. Secondees also help develop the next generation of technical, programmatic and/or organizational leaders and advocates of GEO when they complete their tenure in Geneva and return to their home country and/or organization. Length of time for secondments is ideally two years.

For more information about providing a secondment or becoming a secondee, please contact the GEO Secretariat at secretariat@geosec.org.

Become a Member of an Implementation Board

The GEO Plenary has established several Implementation Boards to assess progress toward completion of the GEOSS 10 Year Implementation Plan. The Boards identify issues, gaps, and Target objectives that require additional support from the GEO community and design and conduct actions for addressing these issues and gaps. The Boards report each year to the GEO Plenary. Members are expected to make a steady but manageable investment of time, energy and thought into the work of their respective Board. Implementation Board membership is open to individuals serving as Member or Participating Organization Representatives.

Information on current Boards and their mandates can be found here. (link)

For more information about becoming a member of an Implementation Board, please contact the GEO Secretariat at secretariat@geosec.org.

Become a Member of a Working Group

The GEO Plenary establishes Working Groups to address aspects of GEOSS implementation and provide a mechanism for members of the GEO community to engage full in the work of GEO. Working groups provide high-level review, advice, recommendations and support in the ongoing development and implementation of the GEOSS 10-Year Implementation Plan. Working groups also actively promote the implementation of GEOSS activities described in the annual Work Plan.

Information on current Working Groups and their mandates can be found here.

For more information about becoming a member of a Working Group, please contact the GEO Secretariat at secretariat@geosec.org.

Become Task Coordinator

Task Coordinators are individuals drawn from the Component Leads (see below) involved in a specific Task in the GEO Work Plan. Task Coordinators plan and set the approach for the Task to meet relevant GEOSS 2015 Strategic Targets in collaboration with the Task Team and Component Leads and foster interaction across Components. Task Coordinators look for synergies with other Work Plan Tasks, ensure that Communities of Practice are engaged in relevant Task Components, and represent the Task to the Implementations Boards.

For more information about becoming a Task Coordinator, please contact the GEO Secretariat at secretariat@geosec.org.

Become a Component Point of Contact

A Component Point of Contact (PoC) serves as the single point of contact for all those involved and interested in a Task Component. The PoC facilitates the development of the Component's approach and delivery of results, and reports on progress to the GEO community. The PoC supports coordination of Components at the Task level in collaboration with the Task Coordinator and serves as a liaison with Communities of Practice.

For more information about becoming a Component Point of Contact, please contact the GEO Secretariat at secretariat@geosec.org.

Become a Component Lead

Component Leads work in close collaboration with Component Points of Contact (see below), other Component Leads and contributors to identify key outputs and milestones to help implement GEOSS. Component Leads monitor and deliver progress toward those outputs and milestones, support contributors, and identify gaps and skills needed to support the Component and encourage additional contributions to address these needs. Component Leads communicate with the Component Point of Contact regarding progress made and impediments to implementation of the Component.

For more information about becoming a Component Lead, please contact the GEO Secretariat at secretariat@geosec.org.

Become a Component Contributor

Component Contributors support the implementation of a Task Component through selected activities and projects by providing financial or in-kind resources. Component Contributors assist in recruiting additional Members or Participating Organizations to support the Component, particularly in their own region or discipline, actively engage user communities, and provide advice and information to Component Leads on user requirements and best practices.

For more information about becoming a Component Contributor, please contact the GEO Secretariat at secretariat@geosec.org.

Become a Member of a Community of Practice

Communities of Practice include representatives from GEO Members, Participating Organizations and any other stakeholders that have similar interests or objectives - working closely together as a GEO forum for intelligence and advice for the successful implementation of GEOSS. Each Community of Practice will have slightly different objectives, however common objectives include: identify, gather, and seek agreement on particular user community requirements; provide a forum for cooperation of activities where GEOSS adds value to existing initiatives; identify linkages and opportunities for collaborative strategic and technical projects; and coordinate the delivery of GEOSS Targets to enable the realization of societal benefits.

For more information about becoming a member of a Community of Practice, please contact the GEO Secretariat at secretariat@geosec.org.

Secretariat contact

e-mail:

   secretariat@geosec.org

phone:

   +41 22 730 8505

fax:

   +41 22 730 8520

address:

   GEO Secretariat
   7 bis, avenue de la Paix
   Case postale 2300
   CH-1211 Geneva 2
   Switzerland

 
News Update
JUNE 2015
Congratulations and welcome. Zimbabwe becomes the 98th member of GEO
UPCOMING
MEETINGS
EARSeL symposium, accompanied by Temporal Analysis and Coastal Zone workshops, Stockholm, Sweden
15 - 19 June
Webinar: Wetlands, biological diversity and the role of Earth observations
18 June
Our Common Future Under Climate Change Conference, Paris, France
7 July - 10 July
Trusted data services to support climate change research, Paris, France
6 July 9am-2pm
Science and the Road to Transformation: Opportunities in the post-2015 global climate regime, Paris, France
6 July 2pm-5pm
International Summer Programme: Sustainable Water Management in an era of big data, University of Tokyo
27 July - 7 August
The 8th GEOSS Asia-Pacific Symposium: Towards the Next Decade of GEOSS in the Asia-Pacific Region, Beijing, China
9 - 11 September
Research Data Alliance Plenary and Climate Change Data Challenge, Paris
23 - 25 September
UNGA high-level plenary Summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda
25 - 27 September
ISDE 2015: "Towards a One-World Vision for the Blue Planet" Halifax, Canada
5 - 9 October
Earth Observation Open Science 2.0, Esrin, Frascati, Italy
12 - 14 October
Hackathon, Esrin, Frascati, Italy
15 - 16 October
Arctic Circle Assembly, Reykjavik, Iceland
16 - 18 October
GEO-XII and 2015 Mexico City Ministerial Summit
9 - 13 November
Latin America Geospatial Forum, Mexico
10 - 12 November
GEO-XII Plenary & Mexico City Ministerial Summit
 
GEO short video competition
Filmmakers – make a three minute video on how GEO and Earth observations are helping address global and regional challenges. Three finalists will be screened during the Mexico City Ministerial Summit. Competition closes end September.
 
Organize a Side Event at GEO-XII Plenary
Last call for meeting rooms available 9-12 November for Side Events at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Hilton Reforma (free of charge).
 
Register for a booth at the GEO Exhibition together with LAGF
A GEO Exhibition booth is a great way to showcase achievements to inform decision making. Due to the fact that the Latin America Geospatial Forum is held at the same time in the same venue, this GEO Exhibition has a larger audience than ever before.
 
Policy Connections
 
World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction confirms important role of Earth Observations
The Global Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-30 listed development of Earth Observation and its information infrastructure as a priority.
 
GEO supports 'Our Common Future Under Climate Change' side events in Paris, pre-COP21
Our Common Future Under Climate Change, a four-day International Scientific Conference ahead of the 21st UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris will feature two side events on 6 July supported by GEO and hosted by the International Council for Science (ICSU):
 
 
Integrating Arctic research, Tomayama Conference Statement
Scientists, policy makers and indigenous peoples coordinated plans to better understand and plan for changes in the Arctic environment at the Arctic Science Summit Week in Toyama, Japan in April.
 
Open Data
 
174 million resources and counting
GEOSS now has more than 174 million resources discoverable on its Portal thanks to interoperability arrangements with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (Switzerland), ESA Federated Earth Observation Pilot (European Commission) Chile Geoportal, Geoscience Australia, the National Institute of Geographic and Forest Information in France and Digital Globe (US). Click here for the latest GEOSS brokered capacities report.
 
Open data policy endorsed at quadrennial WMO Congress
The WMO Congress adopted a new policy for International Exchange of Climate Data and Products to Support the Implementation of the GFCS, recognizing the value of GFCS data and products being made accessible on a free and unrestricted basis. A new Secretary General was elected; Petteri Taalas from Finland was elected to a four-year term starting 1 January 2016. He will succeed Michel Jarraud.
 
World Elevation Data free of charge
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will begin publishing elevation sets with a resolution of 30 meters horizontally. First areas are South and South East Asia, expanding to global coverage.
 
Landsat data just got better
The USGS has improved processing of Landsat data including balancing lighting variance due to time of day or season, improving data consistency and comparability so it is easier to use.
 
Putting Data to Use
 
Global Atlas for renewable energy launches pocket-sized tool
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) announces the launch of an app available for smartphones which allows users to plan for renewable energy products and help realize global renewable energy potentials. The app accesses the IRENA Global Atlas data catalogue which is part of the energy community portal Webservice-energy.org developed by MINES ParisTech offering services for the GEO energy community and has been enabled for interoperability through GEOSS.
 
Copernicus Masters University Challenge
Students and research associates are invited to submit creative ideas on using Earth observation to meet market needs. The University Challenge is supported by GEO. Along with a EUR 1,000 cash prize, winners will receive a consulting package to develop their business case at an ESA Business Incubation Center, satellite data quota and will present the winning service at the GEO-XII Plenary meeting.
 
Smartphone app competition winners
Smartphone apps using open or crowd-generated data on dark skies, non-native species, allergies and natural hazards are some of the competition winners selected for European Commision funding, for release at GEO-XII in November.
 
GEO’s capacity building resource portal doubles
The number of resources such as training material, best practices and marketing tool kits registered on the GEOCAB portal have doubled since its launch at the GEO-XI plenary in November 2014.
 
Addressing the challenges of Big Data
The engineers building the GEO System of Systems describe how Big Data will impact the digital tool’s infrastructure in a recent paper published in Science Direct.
 
Country-Level Engagement
 
Strengthening Senegal's Agriculture policy
Senegal's Ministry of Agriculture has been collecting data since 1984 and is now improving data and analysis, consolidating data and creating a model to improve yield forecasting.
 
GEO’s partners respond to Nepal Earthquake
Satellite and in-situ data are provided by participating organizations for an event supersite in response to the magnitude 7.9 Earthquake and subsequent shocks and earthquakes.
 
Multiple satellite eyes to track algal threat to U.S. Freshwater
A $3.6 million research project has NASA, NOAA, EPA and USGS collaborating to analyse ocean color satellite data for early warning on algal blooms in freshwater systems, and public health advisories.
 
Building Knowledge and Capacity
 
Africa Rising: Mobilising Biodiversity Data for Sustainable Development
Participants from 18 African countries as well as international organizations including GEO BON and GBIF attended the event organized by the South Africa National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and made a joint statement referencing the importance of Earth observations for biodiversity.
 
Workshop on Capacity Building and Developing Countries in Post-2015 GEO
A one-day GEO workshop brought together participants for capacity-building on EO including those running programmes for education and producers of data and software tools.
 
GEO Water Quality Summit in Geneva
GEO’s Coastal and Inland Water Quality Working Group summit set out the requirements for water quality observing system components and developed a plan to implement an integrated, global water quality monitoring and forecasting service.
 
Even small risks can lead to global disasters
The GEO Community of Practice on Geohazards has produced a community science position paper on the often overlooked impact of low-probability high-impact geohazards, with support from ESF.
 
GEO in the Media
 
World Environment Day, 2015, #WEF2015
GEO Secretariat Barbara Ryan, along with Leonardo DiCaprio and Bertrand Piccard, joined the UNEP campaign Seven billion dreams. One planet. Consume with Care stating:
"We dream of a world in which policy makers have easy access to Earth observations for sound decision- making. We pledge to advocate for broad, open data sharing so that all GEO information resources will advance the goals of Eye on Earth worldwide."
 
Integrating Earth Observations into political decision making
Q&A with Barbara Ryan in the GÉANT project's CONNECT Magazine on the challenges of building GEOSS and the future of the System of Systems for Earth observation.
 
 
CONTACT
STAY CONNECTED
 

RECENT GEO ACTIVITIES AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS

African Ministers for Meteorology Voice Support for GEO/AfriGEOSS

The Third Session of the African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (AMCOMET-3) recently adopted a Declaration expressing strong support for the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and AfriGEOSS. The Ministers noted GEO and welcomed the initiation of a partnership between AMCOMET and AfriGEOSS, and encouraged proactive engagement between AfriGEOSS and National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) to advance programmes and activities at the national level. The Ministers encouraged African Member States that are not currently Members of GEO. (Click here to read the full Declaration)

 

GEO-UN Organizations Note Value of Collaboration in Implementing Post-2015 Development Agenda

The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Implementation Plan Working Group (IPWG) recently hosted a meeting of representatives of UN Organizations, Specialized Agencies, Programmes and Conventions to discuss how to strengthen the engagement of GEO with the United Nations. The overall objective was to reaffirm the value and improve the use of Earth observations in UN processes, with a special focus on the post-2015 development agenda. The participants agreed that complementarities and synergies between the UN and GEO should be nurtured with the objective of increasing the quality, availability and use of Earth observation data and information for sustainable development. The Summary document and related information is available here.

 

GEO Starts a Dialogue on Integrating Earth Observations with National Statistical Accounts to Monitor Attainment of post-2015 Development Goals

The Group on Earth Observations (GEO), in collaboration with the UN Statistical Division, Japanese Space Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Government of Switzerland co-hosted a Side Event, "The Role of Earth Observations in Developing Indicators for the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Starting a Dialogue", during the 46th UN Statistical Commission Friday Seminar at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on February 27th. The Side Event was designed to start a dialogue with National Statistical Agencies on the role of Earth observations in monitoring and achieving the post-2015 development goals.

 

Implementation Plan Working Group Continues to Develop New GEO Strategic Plan

The GEO Implementation Working Group (IPWG) continues to develop the new GEO Strategic Plan 2016-2025: Implementing GEOSS. The IPWG held its 4th and 5th sessions in Washington, DC (December 2014) and Geneva, Switzerland (February 2015), both of which were preceded by stakeholder engagement sessions. More information on the IPWG's activities is available here.

 

World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) / Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

GEO through, its Members and Participating Organizations, has been deeply engaged in the preparations leading up to the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) to be held in Sendai, Japan on 14-18 March, 2015. The draft Framework includes language recognizing that Earth observations have a clear role in Disaster Risk Reduction. In addition, GEO has been working with a group of global partners to develop a framework for the integration of Earth observation technologies into Disaster Risk Reduction.

 

MEMBERS AND PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS

Ecuador and Vietnam Join the Group on Earth Observations

The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is pleased to welcome the Republic of Ecuador (96th) and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (97th) as its newest Members. Congratulations and welcome!

 

UPCOMING MEETINGS

33rd Session of GEO Executive Committee to Convene 19-20 March 2015

The 33rd session of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Executive Committee will convene on 19-20 March 2015, in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

GEO-XII Plenary and 2015 Mexico Ministerial Summit - 11-13 November in Mexico City

The GEO-XII Plenary and 2015 Mexico Ministerial Summit will be held in Mexico City, Mexico on 11-13 November 2015. The 2015 Mexico Ministerial will occur on Friday, 13 November at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mexico City. The GEO-XII Plenary will convene on Wednesday-Thursday - 11- 12 November and will be preceded by two days of GEO Board meetings and Side Events (9-10 November). The Plenary, which will also feature an Exhibition, is being held concurrently with the United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM)-Americas regional meeting and the Latin American Geospatial Forum (LAGF). Detailed information about all of these events will be made available in the next several weeks.

 

GEOSS Science and Technology Stakeholder Workshop

The 3rd and 4th GEOSS Science and Technology Stakeholder Workshops will be held in Norfolk, VA, USA from 23 to 26 March 2015. More information can be found here.

 

GEO Water Quality Summit, Geneva - Switzerland

The GEO Water Quality Summit will be held at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) building from 20 to 22 April in Geneva, Switzerland. The goal of the Summit is to define specific requirements of the water quality observing system components and develop a plan to implement an integrated, global end-to-end water quality monitoring and forecasting system

Draft agendaRegistrationGeneva logistics infoInvitation letter

 

Workshop on Capacity Building and Developing Countries in GEO Post-2015, 4 May 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

Meeting noticeRegistration

 

GEO OPPORTUNITIES

Short-term (7 months) Communications Manager position.

 
News Update
OCTOBER 2015
GEO has 100 Members! Congratulations and welcome to Somalia and Kenya who become the 99th and 100th Member of GEO respectively.

GEO is named in the G7 Science Ministers Communiqué. In the Ministers’ summary of main action points of the meeting held in Berlin, 8 and 9 October, the following language was included:

"We recognise that the sharing of Earth observation data and information will strengthen science, knowledge, and decision-making in the areas discussed today and in others. We intend to continue to work together through the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO) to enable policy makers to better address these environmental, health, and socio-economic challenges."
UPCOMING
MEETINGS
Call for papers is open for the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) XXIII Congress in Prague from 12–19 July, 2016. Deadline for papers (double blind reviewed) - 30 November 2015; Deadline for abstracts (reviewed by Chairs) - 13 December 2015
ESA is organizing the first Hackathon on open-source toolboxes for Sentinel missions, 12-14 October, in ESRIN, Frascati, Italy, following the community consultation meeting on Earth Observation Open Science 2.0
The Future of the Commons: Data, Software and Beyond, 18 November 2015, Washington DC
Geography2050: Exploring our Future in an Urbanized World, 19-20 November 2015
2nd International Conference on Geographical Information Systems Theory, Applications and Management (GISTAM) 26-27 April 2016, Rome, Italy; paper submissions by October 30th 2015
Nominations for the IASC Medal Award 2016 International Arctic Science Committee Medals are awarded in recognition of exceptional and sustained contributions to the understanding of the Arctic. Nominations for the IASC Medal 2016 can be submitted to the IASC Secretariat until 31 December 2015
Geospatial World Forum May 23-26, 2016, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Call for papers and workshops is open
GEO BON Open Science Conference, July 4–9 2016, Leipzig, Pre-register now
Mexico City Ministerial Summit and GEO-XII Plenary
 
The Group on Earth Observations Ministerial Summit 2015 will take place on 13 November 2015 in Mexico City, hosted by the Government of Mexico, with invitations to Ministers from GEO’s 100 Members and High Level representatives from the 87 Participating Organizations.
Side Events at GEO-XII Plenary – Click here for a complete list of the Side Events. Please register in advance! Open sessions include:
 
Selected Side Events:
 
Regional relevance
 
AmeriGEOSS Town Hall, Monday 9 November from 6:30pm to 8pm, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
 
Copernicus and Latin America, Tuesday 10 November from 5pm to 7pm at the Hilton
 
AfriGEOSS, Tuesday 10 November from 2pm to 6pm at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
 
AmeriGEOSS Presentations, Tuesday 10 November from 9am to 1pm, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
 
Access to Data & Knowledge and New Technologies
 
Workshop from Data to Knowledge, Tuesday 10 November, from 2pm to 4pm at the Hilton
 
Citizen GEOSS, Tuesday 10 November from 9am to 1pm, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
 
Benefits of Data Sharing (with Reception), Tuesday 10 November from 2pm to 6pm at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
 
GEO Global Initiatives
 
Land Cover: Harmonized Pathways Towards Policy Needs, Monday 9 November from 2pm to 6pm at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
 
 
 
The GEO Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) Progress and Plans, Tuesday 10 November, from 9am to 1pm at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
 
GEO Water Strategy Implementation, Tuesday 10 November, from 11am to 1pm at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
 
GEOGLAM Side Event, Tuesday 10 November, from 2pm to 6pm at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
 
Latin America Geospatial Forum, sponsored by Geospatial Media: Strengthening Geospatial Collaboration for Sustainable Growth.
 
Member News and Earth Observations
 
President of Gabon opens AGEOS
The new center for the Gabonese Agency for Study of Earth Observation (AGEOS) was inaugurated on Saturday 29 August.
 
China launches four Earth observation satellites
The satellites will provide photographs to commercial clients while helping with harvest assessment, geological disaster prevention and resource surveys.
 
China-Brazil Earth observation satellite operational
The CBERS_04 Earth observation satellite is the fourth to be developed by China and Brazil in a cooperation agreement signed in 1988. It became operational on 13 July following its launch on 7 December.
 
Himawari-8 geostationary meteorological satellite managed by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) began operation on 7 July capturing Earth images over the Western Pacific region for use in weather analysis, and contributing to prevention and mitigation of disasters.
 
WMO report on Satellites for Climate Services
The report shows uptake of Earth observation data in decision making processes through the Societal Benefit Areas of GEO and materials presented demonstrate the benefits of Earth observations.
 
The status of topographic mapping in the world
The results of a survey of UN-wide, large scale mapping at 1:25,000 by UN-GGIM and ISPRS.
 
Sustainable Development Goals
 
The 193 Member United Nations General Assembly formally adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development along with a set of 17 Global Goals on 25 September.
 
Earth observation language is included in the final SDG outcome document
Paragraph 76: We will promote transparent and accountable scaling-up of appropriate public-private cooperation to exploit the contribution to be made by a wide range of data, including Earth observation and geospatial information, while ensuring national ownership in supporting and tracking progress.
 
Data in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda
At the Financing for Development Conference, held in Addis Ababa in July 2015, Paragraphs 125-128 emphasize the importance of data to achieve sustainable development, stating “Data access is not enough… we need to ensure access to tools to turn data into useful, actionable information.”
 
Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs)
Established by the UN Statistical Commission, the IAEG is developing an indicator framework for the monitoring of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals and their Targets. It comprises national statistical offices in open consultation with countries, regional and international agencies, civil society, academia and the private sector. GEO has raised the importance of integrating Earth observations with national statistics to better measure and monitor the SDGs to the IAEG , which is due to submit its recommended indicators to the Statistical Commission on 30 November.
 
The Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD)
GEO has joined the newly formed, Global Partnership as an Anchor Partner, along with eight Governments (all GEO members: Colombia, France, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Senegal, UK and US).  Created as an outgrowth of the UN SDG development process, the Partnership will strengthen country data-ecosystems, fill critical data gaps, improve data literacy and capacity, increase data openness, sharing and leveraging, mobilize and align resources and reinforce and catalyze principles and protocols.
The GPSDD is composed of Private Sector Partners, International Agencies (including three GEO Participating Organizations: the UN Economic Commission for Africa, the UN Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific and FAO), as well as Statistics/Data/Research Organizations, Civil Society and Foundations.
 
US Department of State Fact Sheet on the Partnership mentioning GEO
 
The Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) report on the role of geospatial information in the Sustainable Development Goals was issued following a meeting in New York on 4 August.
 
Eye on Earth Second Summit Abu Dhabi
 
Eye on Earth Alliance Partner GEO co-sponsors Eye on Earth Summit 2015
The Group on Earth Observations recently joined global experts in science, policy-making, research and technology at the Eye on Earth Summit to address complex issues around data-sharing and informed decision-making for sustainable development.  Dr Philemon Mjwara, GEO Co-chair from South Africa delivered an address and participated on a Panel discussing data supply issues.
 
Eye on Earth Jason Silva video
 
Open Data
 
Research data sharing without barriers – RDA Plenary
GEO Secretariat Director Barbara Ryan delivered a keynote address at the RDA Plenary in Paris on 23 September highlighting how brokering methodologies are essential for discovering and accessing Earth observations and how broad, open data policies are good for national economies.
 
Climate Change
 
Our Common Future Under Climate Change
GEO participated in the International Scientific Conference held at UNESCO Headquarters in July, the largest science forum in advance of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP21) to occur in December in Paris. The GEO Secretariat participated in a Side Event hosted by the International Council for Science (ICSU): “Science and the Road to Transformation: Opportunities in the Post-2015 Global Climate Regime”.  GEO has endorsed the Conference Outcome Statement to be published and distributed during COP21. Read the article and watch the video.
 
GEO joined hydrology and development experts in a session ‘Let’s talk about water’ at the science, technology and innovation event at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in September in Paris.
 
Learn more about ‘the climate component of GEOSS’ in the ESA Climate Change Initiative (CCI) Special Issue
 
Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP)
The YOPP Summit was held at WMO in July with outcomes agreed upon by the Summit Planning Group, including the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS).
 
GEO Community News
 
Tribute to Len Hirsch
A pioneering force and essential member of the US team that helped establish GEO in 2005, Len Hirsch passed away in June. He will be greatly missed by the GEO community.
 
GEO BON presents new generation of biodiversity indicators
Technical experts from the Convention on Biodiversity  (CBD) met in Geneva in September to present a new generation of indicators integrating Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs).
 
9th GEO European Projects Workshop in Copenhagen 15 – 16 June
The event was held during the design phase of the new GEO Strategic Plan 2016 – 2025 to build momentum and coherence in Europe around plans for the next decade.
 
8th GEOSS AP Symposium proceedings
220 participants from 27 countries attended the GEOSS Asia-Pacific Symposium held in Beijing in September.
 
The GEO Task “Oceans and Society: Blue Planet” held its second Symposium in Cairns, Australia, from 27 to 29 May 2015. The program included presentations, posters, discussion and workshop sessions focussing on the six Blue Planet Components.
 
International Symposium on Digital Earth
The International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE) Symposium theme “towards a one-world vision for the blue planet”.
 
SERVIR global network exchange
Best practices shared by the SERVIR community, a joint initiative of NASA and USAID.
 
CEOS 2015 Strategic Implementation Team Technical Workshop
EUMETSAT hosted the 2015 Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) Strategic Implementation Team (SIT) session in Darmstadt, Germany.
 
European Earth Observation Networks (ENEON)
A first workshop was held in September at MINES ParisTech addressed the needs for coordination and collaboration on the detection of gaps and redundancies in the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).
 
Global High Frequency Radar Meeting
The GEO Global HF meeting coincided with the Seventh Session of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) Regional Alliances.
 
GeoBuiz Summit
Pre-conference on 9 August featured a wide variety of speakers, including Secretariat Director Barbara Ryan. See two video interviews: video 1 and video 2
 
GEO’s Scientific and Technical Officer, Wenbo Chu, elected to RDA Technical Advisory Board
The Research Data Alliance’s Technical Advisory Board provides technical expertise and advice to the Council, assists in developing and reviewing RDA Working Groups and is responsible for the development, maintenance and evolution of the RDA Technical Strategy. Congratulations Wenbo!
 
ICIMOD awarded Humanitarian GIS Award
GEO Participating Organization, The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, was awarded at the Esri International User Conference in July.
 
GEO in the Media
 
Nature: Environmental science: Agree on biodiversity metrics to track from space
GEO BON’s Gary Geller joins colleagues to propose collaboration on a global biodiversity monitoring strategy.
 
Earthzine highlights knowledge-sharing on the Ocean Color Change Initiative
Planktonologists working with GEO's Blue Planet Oceans initiative have produced the first complete piece of research on seasonal changes to microscopic life forms in the Red Sea. The findings can be used to assess oxygen generation and carbon retention and have been shared with the wider scientific community through the ESA learning platform Learn EO!
 
The Next frontier in agriculture science: Sentinel-2
Agriculture is a key remote sensing application with high temporal and spatial requirements such as GEOGLAM, as outlined in Fruitworld.
 
 
CONTACT
STAY CONNECTED
 

GEO-XII Plenary Documents, Statements & Presentations

 

Documents

 

Press release - Mexico City, 13 November, 2015: GEO Commits to unleash the power of open data to address global challenges

 

Statements by Member Countries and Participating Organizations:

A combination of all GEO-XII statements can be downloaded here for quick searches on a specific topic

Presentations

Presentations can be downloaded from here

 

Mexico City Ministerial Summit Documents

 

Documents

 

Photos taken by Kiara Worth (IISD Reporting Services)
Co-Chairs of the Mexico City Ministerial Summit

 

Opening Remarks by Carlos Moedas - Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, European Commission

Opening Remarks and Closing Remarks of GEO Co-Chair Cao Jianlin, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology, People's Republic of China

 

Press release - Mexico City, 13 November, 2015: GEO Commits to unleash the power of open data to address global challenges

 

Statements by Member Countries and Participating Organizations:

 
News Update
FEBRUARY 2016

GEO has 102 Members!

 

Congratulations and welcome to Uruguay as the 101st GEO Member and to The United Arab Emirates as the 102nd GEO Member.

UPCOMING
MEETINGS
February 1 – 2 TIGER workshop 2016: Looking after Water for Sustainable Development, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Bringing together the African communities for water resources management and Earth Observations to discuss the launch of the Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 missions, the publication of the open-source Water Observation Information System and approval of the 6th Sustainable Development Goal for Water and Sanitation
February 2- 3, GEO Programme Board, Geneva
February 10 – 12, GIM International Summit Update a closer link between society’s needs and geospatial solutions.
March 1 – 3 Research Data Alliance 7th Plenary, Tokyo, Japan. A working meeting that brings together data scientists, librarians, computer and domain scientists, policy makers and strategists.
March 2 – 4, Global Climate Observation: the Road to the Future, GCOS Open Science Conference, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. First event of its kind. Registration by 15 February.
March 8 – 9 GEO Executive Committee Meeting, Geneva, Switzerland.
March 10, Data to Decisions: valuing the societal benefits of geospatial information, Paris, France, organizing committee – GEOValue community, in collaboration with OECD, NASA and USGS. Registration closes Feb 8.
March 16 – 17, InterMET Asia 2016 conference, Singapore. Featuring expert sessions dedicated to specific weather affected areas.
See all meetings here
GEO Programme Board
 
The Programme Board, held in Geneva, Switzerland, 2 - 3 February 2016, has elected three Co-Chairs:
  • John Matuszak, Senior Policy Advisor - U.S. Department of State (US);
  • Tim Haigh, Manager - Information Resources, European Environment Agency (EEA);
  • Pengde Li, Deputy Director-General, National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation (China)
For the first time, Participating Organizations elected as Observers to the Executive Committee are CEOS, GOOS and WMO
 
GEO-XII Plenary and Ministerial Summit
 
The intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO) held its twelfth Plenary session and fourth Ministerial Summit in Mexico City from 11 to 13 November 2015 with commitments to share data on Earth observations at a time of exponential data growth, human development and climate change. Read more...
 
Participating Organizations gain prominence in GEO through new arrangements that enable them to play a larger role in the next decade of GEO.
 
 
 
 
The Value of Open Data Sharing white paper prepared for the GEO Plenary by the ICSU Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA) shows how shared Earth Observation data brings a multitude of environmental and economic benefits.
 
GEO and UN-GGIM organized a Land Cover Side Event focusing on harmonized pathways towards policy needs. Data providers and users of land cover data attended and key outcomes, background material and all presentations can be accessed at the event website.
 
GEO-XII Side Event on AfriGEOSS highlighted the importance of collaboration in Africa in order to use Earth observations to address societal needs. Participants highlighted projects and initiatives they are undertaking.
 
COP-21 Paris Agreement
 
195 Member states signed up to the Paris Agreement on climate change adopted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) on Saturday 12 December. It will be open for one year for signature on 22 April 2016 -Mother Earth Day.
 
GEO is referenced in the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice SBSTA document circulated prior to COP-21, see paragraphs 8, 19 and 30.
 
GEO Members, Participating Organizations and the GEO Secretariat participated in various aspects of COP-21 including:
 
GEO Secretariat Director Barbara Ryan participated in a round table discussion hosted by the U.S. White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Climate Services a Global Public Good: Transboundary Collaboration, Science and Data innovation.
 
Director Ryan was also a panelist in a session hosted by the Nordic members with the Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) titled Trust but Verify towards a comprehensive Global Observation, Information and Verification System on Greenhouse Gases.
 
 
 
UNFCCC: The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), partnered by the World Bank; WMO and UNISDR came together to launch the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) Initiative - to mobilize $100m by 2020 in a trust fund.
 
UNFCCC: Launch of the UNFCCC Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) Engagement Platform.
 
CEOS: New Climate Chapter for CEOS Database. Content links to existing comprehensive information on Missions, Instruments and Measurements of CEOS agency EO mission and includes information on Essential Climate Variables (ECVs).
 
CEOS: CEOS Earth Observation Handbook. The CEOS Earth Observation Handbook presents the main capabilities of satellite Earth observations, their applications and a systematic overview of present and planned CEOS agency Earth observation satellite missions and their instruments.
 
 
ICSU and CODATA: "Open Data in a Big Data World" – the publication authored by four organizations led by CODATA/ICSU includes guiding principles on open access to big data.
 
ICSU: The International Council for Science and Climate Change, 60 years of facilitating climate change research and informing policy. Highlighting the scientific community’s contributions to the development of climate science and ICSU’s role in facilitating collaboration to inform policy. GEO has a one-page description and is referenced for its coordinating role with GCOS.
 
UNEP: The Adaptation Gap 2014 complementary to the annual Emissions Gap report. Assessment of the gap bringing emissions down to the levels required by 2020.
 
WMO: The Global Carbon Budget 2015, said that Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuels and industry increased by 0.6% in 2014, with a total of about 9.8 Gigatonnes of carbon emitted to the atmosphere. This is 60% above emissions in 1990, the Kyoto Protocol reference year.
 
WMO: Satellites for Climate Services, Case Studies for establishing an architecture for climate monitoring from space published by WMO and the European Commission Joint Research Center. Case studies from around the world show satellites can provide a critical baseline for many climate services.
 
Sustainable Development Goals
 
GEO has committed to undertake a significant new initiative to integrate Earth observations and geospatial information in the design and implementation of national processes to measure and monitor progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The focus will be on GEO creating collaborations between the national GEO community and the National Statistical Officers in individual countries to maximize the potential contributions of Earth observations and geospatial information to their efforts to measure progress toward the specific indicators. The final decision on the number, type and formulation of the indicators in the final proposal of the set of global indicators will be taken by the IAEG-SDG Members. The UN Statistical Commission will review the proposal and submit it to ECOSOC and UN General Assembly for adoption.
 
GEO is working closely with the UN Statistics Division and the UN Global Geospatial Management Initiative (UN GGIM) to develop this dialogue on a global basis, beginning with a session on "Geospatial Information and Earth Observations: Supporting Official Statistics in Monitoring the SDGs", to be held during the 47th Annual Meeting of the UN Statistical Commission on 7 March 2016.
 
Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data
 
GEO continues to contribute to the GPSDD initiative through the participation of the following community members:
 
Interim Steering Committee: Barbara Ryan, GEO Secretariat Director; John Matuszak, USGEO;
Data Principles and Policies: Catherine Doldirina, European Commission (co-facilitator); Simon Hodson, CODATA
Data Collaboratives: William Sonntag, USGEO
Architecture: Stefano Nativi, Italy
 
GEO news from Members and Participating Organizations
 
 
China: an International Symposium on Earth Observation for the Silk Road, organized by the International Society for Digital Earth in China highlights the use of EO technology for the Belt and Road Initiative.
 
European Commission: Sentinel-2 data has been opened online.
 
Mexico: Dr. Julio A. Santaell-Castell was appointed President of INEGI by its Governing Board and the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto.
 
South Africa: Science Forum South Africa (SFSA) Science Diplomacy Awards Committee awarded GEO with the SFSA Science Diplomacy Award in the category recognizing "an international science partnership which has made an outstanding contribution to advancing global sustainable development".
 
United States: USGEO Program’s new draft Common Framework for Earth Observation Data clearly makes reference to GEO Data Management Principles.
 
United States: Department of the Interior launches new, interactive web tool to show effects of 16-Year drought in the Colorado River Basin, following the White House Roundtable on Water Innovation.
 
US and EU: Jason-3, a U.S.-European satellite mission, was successfully launched on 17 January to track the rate of global sea-level rise and forecast the strength of tropical cyclones.
 
Belmont Forum: the Belmont Forum has for the first time adopted an Open Data Policy and Principles. GEO is mentioned as a partner in the implementation of the e-infrastructure initiative.
 
GCOS: released its report Status of the Global Observing System for Climate (GCOS-195) which was submitted to the 43rd session of the SBSTA, at COP-21. The report can be downloaded here.
 
International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) closed at the end of 2015 after almost three decades of coordinating international research on global change. Its work is continued by activities in Future Earth, a Participating Organization in GEO.
 
ITU: at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15) held in Geneva from 2 to 27 November 2015, a the GEO community need to preserve the 5350-5470 MHz frequency range, which is of high importance to the Copernicus Sentinel-series satellites and other Earth observation (EO) missions of GEO Members were incorporated into the WMO position. The use of this radio frequency band was not modified.
 
POGO: featured in Science magazine’s article New sensors promise better picture of world ocean health.
 
UNECE: GEO contributed to a Task Force on the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters in Geneva on December 10.
 
 
Publications
 
The Remote Sensing Handbook (CRC Press) is three volumes with contributions from 300 leading global experts. The handbook is a reference for remote sensing students, professors, scientists, professionals practitioners and experts. The technical handbook includes up-to-date examples of successful projects and case studies, and explains in detail, state-of-the-art space-borne, air-borne and ground-based remote-sensing systems.
 
Spatial Data Infrastructures in Africa: A Gap Analysis, coauthored by UNEP, UNIGE, UNECE and GEO Secretariat (Journal of Environmental Informatics).
 
Climate Change and Satellites, Knowledge for action, see article by Barbara Ryan and Andre Obregon, GEO Secretariat p.170 (Thales Alenia Space).
 
GEO in the news – GEO-XII Plenary and Mexico City Ministerial Summit
 
 
Live coverage of GEO-XII, Earthzine, including the following: • "Environmental intelligence starts with our ability to take the pulse of the planet" NOAA Administrator and GEO Co-chair Kathryn Sullivan and • "Science is fundamental to every decision we make" Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell
 
 
 
 
 
 
Making a case for open data, p.7 OpEd, Geospatial World, December 2015 by Prof Arup Dasgupta
 
GEO in other news
 
COP’s Half full, Geospatial World November, p52 article quotes GEO Secretariat Director Barbara Ryan
 
Down to Earth With: GEO Secretariat Director Barbara Ryan, Earth Magazine, 18 December, Barbara Ryan interviewed by Terri Cook on her career and on GEO
 
Group Pushes for Using Earth observations in Decision Making, EOS magazine, 29 December Barbara Ryan interviewed by Randy Showstack, at the American Geophysical Union.
 
The GEOSS Portal is featured in the Geneva Data Portal, a collection of information managed by the United Nations agencies, International Organizations and NGOs based in Geneva.
 
NASA spinoffs: Bringing space tech to Earth, GCN magazine, 7 January, citing GEOGLAM and the Rice Decision Support System.
 
 
 
CONTACT
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News Update
APRIL 2016

Welcome aboard!

 

The 36th Session of the GEO Executive Committee welcomed new organizations to GEO:
European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC), Joint Board of Geospatial Information Societies (JBGIS), Mountain Research Initiative (MRI); as well as the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) as an Observer. See also EARSC is now a GEO Participating Organization!

UPCOMING
MEETINGS
April 17 – 22, European Geosciences Union, General Assembly 2016, Vienna, Austria.
April 20 – 22 Fourth High Level Forum on United Nations Global Geospatial Information, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
April 26 – 27, 2nd International Conference on Geographical Information Systems Theory, Applications and Management (GISTAM), Rome, Italy.
April 26 – 27, GeoBuiz Summit, Maryland, US.
April 27 – 29 AfriGEOSS Symposium, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
May 2 – 4 GIS for users of EO for decision making, Geneva, Switzerland.
May 2 - 4, GEO Work Programme Symposium, Geneva, Switzerland.
May 4 Open Data driving Sustainable Development for business, government, civil society, Cape Town, South Africa.
May 9 – 13 ESA Living Planet Symposium, Prague, Czech Republic.
May 16 – 17 International Symposium on Earth Observation for one belt and one road, Beijing, China.
May 23 – 26 Geospatial World Forum, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
May 23 – 27 Sustainable Innovation Expo at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), Nairobi, Kenya.
May 25 – 26, International Symposium and Workshop on Impact of Geospatial Information on Society and Economy, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
May 26 – 27, 42nd G7 summit, GEO targeting Science Ministers and Heads of State communiqué.
May 30 – June 3, Fourth edition of European Space Solutions, The Hague, The Netherlands.
May 31 – June 2nd 9th GEO European Projects Workshop (GEPW), Berlin, Germany.
See all meetings here
Earth Observations for the Africa We want
 
The AfriGEOSS symposium 27 – 29 April attracts participants from across the continent and beyond - African Heads of State adopted the Africa Space Policy and Strategy, at the 26th African Union (AU) Summit held in January, 2016. In the resolution of adoption, the Heads of State called on AfriGEOSS, GEO’s coordination programme for Africa, to work to mobilize the Earth observation community to contribute to the implementation of the Space Policy and Strategy. For more information and to register for the AfriGEOSS symposium click here.
 
What happens in the poles doesn’t stay in the poles
 
Arctic Observing Summit 2016 - The Arctic changing fast and needs an observing system that harnesses indigenous knowledge – according to The Arctic Observing Summit 2016 Statement. GEO presented at the Third Biennial Arctic Observing summit, held in Fairbanks Alaska in March
Statement: See the Statement on the GEO Cold Region Initiative (GEOCRI).
Videos
  • GEO Secretariat Director Barbara Ryan describes the importance of international and national strategies for sustained support of long-term Arctic observing:
    https://youtu.be/92i8tpErSG0?t=1h22m
  • GEO expert on Cold Regions, Dominique Berod summarizes discussions on international collaboration on Arctic Observations in the context of Global Observing Initiatives:
    https://youtu.be/tDdrKGhl_4Q?t=1h18m
 
Open Data
 
Earth Data Available At No Cost. Earth imagery from a Japanese remote sensing instrument operating aboard NASA’s Terra spacecraft since late 1999 is now available at no cost.
 
Take part in the Data Revolution – endorse the report ‘Open Data in a Big Data World’, attend the Digital Earth Summit, international Data Week or the international Open Data Conference.
 
USGS Partners with European Space Agency to deliver data. Landsat and Sentinel combine to deliver data in a practical way.
 
New assets for GEOSS from China GEOSS and the Arctic Data Archive System bring the running total to around 200 million data sets.
 
GEO Earth Observation Capacity Building resource facility Portal - organizations supporting GEOCAB Portal signed an MOU.
 
Earth as Art: A Fusion of Science and Art from USGS.
 
Earth Observations for the 2030 Development Agenda
 
 
Geospatial Information and Earth Observations: supporting official statistics in Monitoring the SDGs side event at the 47th Session of the United Nations Statistical Commission 7 March in New York.
 
IAEG forms geospatial information subgroup at the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators meeting in Mexico City, 30 March – 1 April. The proposal was supported by GEO Members Mexico, Philippines, Senegal and Sweden.
 
GIS for users of Earth observations for decision making on the Sustainable Development Goals - GEO, UNOSAT and Esri to host a 3 day conference on May 2 – 4 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Work Programme attendees are kindly invited to the reception hosted by ESRI - GIS for a Sustainable World Conference Symposium (Campus Biotech, Geneva). If you would like to attend this reception, please register here
 
Early Warning Crop Monitor confirms conditions in southern Africa continue to deteriorate for food production. GEOGLAM’s second edition of this monthly tool reveals food insecurity in several countries
 
 
Mapping Mining to the Sustainable Development Goals - A Preliminary Atlas: The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the World Economic Forum have released a new report.
 
Global Forest Initiative operations highlighted on International Day of Forests. Measuring forests and carbon stocks using Earth observations.
 
Mountain Forests and the Sustainable Development Goals: The Mountain Research and Development(MRD) is seeking papers that assess experiences of how to manage forests so that they can provide services that analyze the state of mountain forests as well as those that help identify future research or policy in support of sustainable mountain forestry.
 
Geospatial Information and the Sustainable Development Goals, Deliver2030 website editorial Alvin K. Leong, Fellow, Pace Global Center for Environmental Legal Studies. A description of the kinds of contributions Earth observations can make to the SDGs.
 
Marine Biological Diversity was debated at the 1st Session of the Preparatory Committee regarding the Law of the Sea Convention on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction.
 
Member and Participating Organization News
 
China: 35 global change/earth sciences Journals will share research. Journals have issued a common understanding to publish data openly.
 
Israel: Free access to Israel Meteorological Service Data. From 2012, the Israel Meteorological Service started to provide free access to real-time data and historical observations. A recent article shows that new funding frameworks based on free and open access can provide a wide range of benefits to public and private sectors.
 
US: Blue Economy Study demonstrates the value of Earth observations for Ocean Enterprise. The first study to look at business aspects of Earth observation measurements in oceans and water bodies.
 
US: NASA Sea Level Change website keeps track of sea level change and its causes from space. Find out about how NASA satellite observations help our understanding of this complex topic.
 
 
EC: ERA-PLANET launched to promote use of Earth Observations in policy-making. Designed to strengthen EO in coherence with Copernicus and European contributions to GEOSS.
 
IRENA Celebrates its 5th Anniversary. 4th April marked the 5th anniversary of IRENA’s formal creation as a fully-fledged intergovernmental organization.
 
OECD: report on Water Governance in Cities was launched at the Cities and Water Conference, in the Netherlands in February. Read the report on line or Download it for free through the OECD I-Library (Username: gov-oecd2016 - Password: oecd2016-ilibrary).
 
WMO: Hotter, Dryer, Wetter: WMO Statement on the status of the global climate in 2015. The year 2015 will stand out in the historical record of the global climate in many ways. Modern records for heat were broken: 2015 was a record warm year both globally and in many individual countries.
 
Opportunities and training materials
 
 
The following training activities relate to the GEO Work Programme, Community Activity - 32:
 
GlaSS training material on the use of EO data for lake water quality allows students and professionals in fields as aquatic ecology, environmental technology, remote sensing and GIS to learn about the possibilities of optical remote sensing of water quality, by using the Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 satellites and Landsat 8. The material has been registered in the GEOCAB Portal.
 
CODATA is holding an International Training Workshop in Big Data for Science in Beijing 4 – 17 July. Applications should be submitted by 18 April.
 
The CODATA-RDA Research Data Science Summer School Trieste, Italy, 1-12 August. The first full introductory course is supported by ICTP and from The World Academy of Science, as well as CODATA and RDA.
 
GEO in the news
 
South African corn withers amid worst drought on record, Reuters/Financial Times, 10 February (requires you to be signed into the FT website). Synopsis: South Africa’s farmers are battling the worst drought on record, as crops fail and livestock perish. And it is not just South Africa. The whole southern African region has been hit by an intense drought since early 2015 that was brought on by the El Niño weather phenomenon. Countries such as Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique and Madagascar will also be in need of food aid, says GEOGLAM, a group that works with international organisations to monitor crop conditions in countries at risk of food insecurity.
 
Combining citizen and satellite biodiversity data, EC Research and Innovation website, 11 March, mentions EU BON.
 
Free Data Proves Its Worth for Observing Earth, A comprehensive articulation of the worth of free EO data, USGS blog, updated March 2016: Free data for earth observation) is a public good - along with public education, public roads, and public parks.
 
Conmemoran mañana el centenario del Observatorio de Izaña (Tenerife). La Agencia Estatal de Meteorología (Aemet) conmemora este año el centenario del Observatorio Meteorológico de Izaña, ubicado en la isla de Tenerife a 2.373 metros de altitud, en un acto que se celebrará mañana en el propio Observatorio de Izaña.
 
 
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News Update
JULY 2016

GEO has 103 Members!

 

Congratulations and welcome to Mongolia.

UPCOMING
MEETINGS
30 July - 7 August 2016, The 41st Scientific Assembly of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) will be held in Istanbul (Istanbul Congress Center).
11 - 13 September 2016, “SciDataCon 2016: Advancing the Frontiers of Data in Research” conference will take place at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Denver, Colorado, USA, as part of International Data Week (11-16 September 2016), convened by CODATA, the ICSU World Data System and the Research Data Alliance.
12 - 14 September 2016, United Nations / Austria Symposium on Integrated Space Technology Applications for Climate Change.Organized jointly by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and the Government of Austria -with the support of the European Space Agency (including Keynotes on their Climate Change Initiative and Copernicus programme by Mr. Aschbacher) - the Symposium will be held at the Space Research Institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
14 - 16 September 2016, “GEOBIA 2016: Solutions & Synergies” will take place at the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) of the University of Twente, in Enschede, The Netherlands.
26 - 30 September 2016, “The 66th International Astronautical Congress: Making Space Accessible and Affordable to all Countries” will be held at the Expo Guadalajara in Guadalajara, Mexico.
3 - 6 October 2016, iPRES 2016,13th International Conference on Digital Preservation, Bern - Switzerland.
10 - 11 October 2016, ConnectinGEO Workshop on Gap Analysis and Prioritization will be held in IIASA Laxenburg, Austria.
12 - 13 October 2016, ENEON Plenary Workshop will be held in IIASA Laxenburg, Austria.
18 - 20 October 2016, The International Conference & Exhibition on Advanced Geospatial Science & Technology (TeanGeo 2016) is scheduled to take place in Tunis, Tunisia.
24 - 28 October 2016, The 11th International Conference of the African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (AARSE 2016) will be held in Kampala, Uganda.
28 November - 1 December 2016, Pacific Islands GIS & RS User Conference 2016 theme for this year is "Improved Data, Improved Maps". It will be held in Suva, Fiji.
See all meeting here
GEO-XIII Plenary
 
 
GEO 37th Executive Committee Meeting
 
The 37th GEO Executive Committee Meeting was held in Geneva from 6 - 7 July – eight new Participating Organizations have joined GEO, which now has 103 Participating Organizations! Welcome to: Association of Geospatial Industries (AGI); African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education-English (ARCSSTEE); Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN); Global Flood Partnership (GFP); Humanitarian Open Street Map (HOT); Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS); World Ocean Council (WOC); and World Health Organization (WHO)
 
GEO Work Programme Symposium and Programme Board
 
 
 
AfriGEOSS Symposium in Zimbabwe
 
 
GEOSS Updates
 
New data providers were brokered in the GEOSS Common Infrastructure (GCI) including the Arctic Data System (ADS), the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS), the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)’s Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT) and the UNOSAT Flood Portal
 
 
 
 
 
GPSDD: Call for Proposals on Collaborative Data Innovations for data production, dissemination and use, primarily in low-income countries and lower-middle-income countries , for sustainable development generally and linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in particular.
 
Member News
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Participating Organization News
 
 
EARSC: Carried out a survey on Public Service Bodies using EO data and services to construct a complete and accurate picture of the public organisations in Europe that use EO data and services, documenting key aspects such as their involvement in, and awareness of, Copernicus and their engagement with external EO providers
 
 
UNGGIM: The Addis Ababa Declaration on Geospatial Information Management Towards Good Land Governance for the 2030 Agenda was issued at the High level forum held 20 – 22 April 2016, Ethiopia.
 
WCRP and GCOS:Established an International Data Prize, awarded annually to honour achievements in (climate) data product generation, data management, data preservation, data monitoring, and other data relevant activities by an early- to mid-career researcher. Nominations of suitable candidates should be forwarded to WCRP and GCOS), and must be received by 1 October 2016.
 
 
GEO in the news
 
 
 
Earth observations to support ecosystems, International Innovation magazine, 9 June, 2016. Nine images show how satellite imagery can contribute to better decision making for the benefit of society
 
 
 
 
AfriGEOSS in the news
 
 
 
 
 
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