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GEO News (Issue #19, 25 May 2012)

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  GEO Work Plan Symposium promotes cross-fertilization of Tasks
  The 2012 GEO Work Plan Symposium was held from 30 April to 2 May at the Secretariat offices in Geneva and attracted some 130 participants from 43 GEO Members and Participating Organizations. The Symposium represented a key opportunity to highlight progress, exchange information, and foster coordination across the entire Work Plan. The main focus was on cross-fertilization of the new Tasks – bringing together Leads and contributors from all GEOSS areas as well as members of the new Implementation Boards. Continued…
  Call for contributions to new Work Plan generates over 70 submissions
  Last November, the GEO Secretariat issued a Call for Contributions to the new 2012-2015 Work Plan. The Call marked an important step towards establishing an operational GEOSS offering full and open access to datasets and information across the nine Societal Benefit Areas. Continued…
  AfriGEOSS: An initiative to reinforce Earth observation in Africa
  The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) has launched the AfriGEOSS initiative, which aims to coordinate the implementation of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) and related Earth observation activities in Africa. Supported by the GEO Secretariat and recognized by the Executive Committee, this initiative seeks to identify the challenges and then put in place measures to enhance Africa’s participation in, and contribution to, GEOSS. This participation will contribute to the continent’s efforts to bridge the digital divide and to build a knowledge-based economy using GEO networks and the GEOSS infrastructure. Continued…
  Phase 5 of GEOSS Architecture Implementation Pilot underway
  With a successful Kickoff Workshop on 3-4 May, the development of the GEOSS Architecture Implementation Pilot, Phase 5 (AIP-5), has begun. Representatives from the GEO organizations that responded to the AIP-5 Call for Participation (CFP) attended the workshop, which was held at the UNEP offices in the International Environment House, Geneva. Continued…
  Announcing the GEO Carbon Office
  The European Commission-funded GEOCARBON project has launched a GEO Carbon Office. The Carbon Offfice will support the GEO Global Carbon Observation and Analysis System by strengthening coordination and engaging more contributors. For more information or to contribute to GEO Task CL-02 on GCOAS, please visit the GEOCARBON website or contact Task PoC Antonio Bombelli.
  Implementation Boards up and running
  The new management structure established for the 2012-2015 Work Plan establishes three Implementation Boards. Each Board is responsible for monitoring the progress of Tasks in one of the three parts of the Work Plan, while also promoting the coordination of activities across Tasks and providing advice on Task implementation. The three Boards have all made good progress over the first half of the year in establishing their priorities and launching their work. Continued…
  GEO to promote awareness of GEOSS at the Rio+20 Conference
  Ensuring full and open access to the data and information available through GEOSS can make a vital contribution to the goals of next month’s United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. GEO will raise awareness of GEOSS with an exhibition booth hosted at the Japan Pavilion in Athletes Park as well as through a number of seminars and panel discussions. For more information on these events and activities, please see GEO’s Rio+20 brochure.
  New information resources available on GEO website
  During the recent GEO Work Plan Symposium, the GEO Secretariat introduced a powerful new report generator. By allowing users to compile information related to GEOSS implementation across the 60 Task Component sheets, this new reporting tool will foster synergies and improve the monitoring of progress. In addition, the Secretariat has now posted the meeting documents of the former GEO Committees; these can be accessed via the “Archive” menu on the GEO website. Continued…
  5th GEOSS Asia-Pacific Symposium addresses Tokyo Statement to Rio+20
  The 5th GEOSS Asia-Pacific Symposium was held from 2 to 4 April in Tokyo at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan). It was co-organized by GEO Japan and the GEO Secretariat with the support of Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). The Symposium, addressed the theme of “GEO Initiatives towards Green Growth in the Asia-Pacific Region,” with an emphasis on the fields of Water, Biodiversity, Forests, Ocean and Agriculture. Central to this theme was a discussion on how GEOSS can contribute to the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). The Symposium adopted a Tokyo Statement in support of the Rio+20 objectives. The full report of the meeting is available on the GEO website.
  Assessing Europe’s contributions to the new Work Plan
  The sixth in the series of GEO European Projects' Workshops (GEPW6) took place on 7 and 8 May and was hosted in Rome by Italy’s National Research Council (CNR). The event brought together some 170 participants, including many already actively involved in the European effort to construct GEOSS, but also many people who were hearing about GEO for the first time, such as young researchers from the Rome area. Continued…
  2nd GEOSS Science and Technology Stakeholder Network Workshop
  Entitled "GEOSS: Supporting Science for the Millennium Development Goals and Beyond," the workshop will take place on 28-31 August 2012 in Bonn, Germany. It will review the science questions and research topics that need to be addressed in order to support progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and to identify Earth observations needed to facilitate the research. It will explore the relationship between the MDGs and GEO’s strategic targets. The full announcement will be posted on the GEO website shortly.
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