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Press Releases

Group on Earth Observations Launches Worldwide Competition ‘Aim is to Turn Data into Decisions’

Geneva, 9 May 2014 – The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) just launched the GEO Appathon 2014, a global competition to develop mobile “apps” to help people make smarter decisions about the environment. ( Competitors from more than 15 countries – and growing – are competing for $20,000 in prizes being offered by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Read full press release here


Group on Earth Observations (GEO) to Convene in Geneva. 89 Nations & EC Mark a Decade of Pioneering Environmental Advances

Geneva, 9 January 2014 – Marking nearly a decade of pioneering environmental activities, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) will convene in Geneva, 13 to 17 January, at CICG, 17 rue de Varembé. With 89-member nations, the European Commission and nearly 70 participating organizations, GEO is committed to making vast new worlds of data transparent, timely, accessible and a vital resource for providing the sound science required to make sound decisions across every sector of our society. GEO co-chairs are China, the European Commission, the Republic of South Africa and the United States. Read full press release here


GEO to build Global Agricultural Monitoring "System of Systems" to promote food security and predict market trends

Istanbul, 16 November 2011 – The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) has announced that it is establishing a Global Agricultural Monitoring initiative to improve food security and market stability around the world, and particularly in vulnerable countries. The GEO Global Agricultural Monitoring initiative (GEO-GLAM) will bring together existing national and regional monitoring systems to establish a "system of systems" for monitoring global agricultural production and food security. This will require making these systems more compatible and interoperable, promoting common data standards, and strengthening transparency and data sharing. Read full press release here


GEO BON launches Implementation Plan

The Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) has released its detailed, 175-page Implementation Plan for a coordinated global campaign to gather and share information on biodiversity, provide tools for data integration and analysis, and contribute to improved environmental management and human well-being. For more information, see the Technical Summary, Detailed Implementation Plan, and press release.


Group on Earth Observations meets in Washington to strengthen access to data and information on biodiversity, forest carbon and other global issues

Co-chairs from China, European Commission, South Africa, United States

Washington DC, 17 November 2009 – The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is holding its annual Plenary meeting in Washington on 17-18 November to assess and promote progress towards making information about global environmental change readily available to policy-makers, managers and anyone else who needs it. Read full press release here


Comprehensive new global monitoring system to track deforestation and forest carbon

Governments, space agencies and organizations team up through GEO to integrate data and methodologies.

London, 19 October 2009 – Recognizing the need to reverse deforestation, which contributes almost a fifth of humanity’s carbon dioxide emissions, an international partnership of governments and organizations is building the first global monitoring system for producing annual assessments of forest carbon stocks (compared to the current five-yearly cycle). Read full press release here


Cash prizes for the 2009 Earthzine Student Essay Contest

Earthzine, the on-line journal on Earth observations and related issues, is inviting undergraduate and graduate students from around the world to submit an essay for the 2009 Student Essay Competition: "Sustainability through Earth Observation and Engineering". See the press release for more details.


UNEP and partners to contribute Black Sea data to GEOSS

Geneva, 27 April 2009 - The UN Environment Programme, the University of Geneva, and 26 other partners, with funding from the European Commission, are adding an important system to GEOSS by deploying the latest observation and assessment technologies to monitor environmental trends in the Black Sea. See the UNEP press release here.


GEO announces free and unrestricted access to full Landsat archive

Universal availability of cost-free satellite data and images will revolutionize the use of Earth observations for decision-making

Bucharest, 20 November 2008 – In a breakthrough announced here today by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), scientists and decision-makers around the world will soon have unrestricted access at no charge to the Landsat archive, the world’s most extensive collection of continuously-acquired remotelysensed satellite imagery. “Remote-sensing satellites are impartial and essential recorders of the fast-moving story of the Earth’s changing surface,” said José Achache, Director of the GEO Secretariat. “Landsat’s nearly four decades of accumulated Earth imagery data will provide an historical record that, combined with continuous updates, will make it possible to interpret and anticipate changes to the Earth’s surface with far greater certainty than ever before.”

Read full press release


Bucharest conference to strengthen environmental monitoring of planet Earth

Bucharest, 14 November 2008 – Some 300 officials from the Group on Earth Observations’ member governments and organizations are meeting here on 19 and 20 November to plan the next three-year phase in the construction of a new global monitoring network that will support science-based decision-making about environmental risks and opportunities.

The Global Earth Observation System of Systems, or GEOSS, is linking together the world’s diverse monitoring networks, instruments, data bases, models and other decision-support tools into one fully coordinated “system of systems”... Read full press release


US plans storm warning system for East Africa

GENEVA (AP), 25 June 2008 — Cell phone users in East Africa will be able to receive warnings when a storm is brewing thanks to a low-cost alert system U.S. scientists are hoping to set up in the next few years, officials said Tuesday.

The NextStorm system — a computer program that analyzes recent satellite images to predict where thunderstorms are likely to occur in the next hour — should be in place by the end of the decade, said Jacqueline Schafer of USAID told journalists in Geneva.

The U.S. development agency has already set up a similar system set to begin operating this summer in Central America together with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA and local partners... Read full article on-line or download full text.


Central America gets new storm alert system

COSTA RICA (Daily News), 25 June 2008 — A new system of early forecasts for storms and bad weather, with alerts every 30 minutes, will be in operation this summer in Central America and southern Mexico, the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations announced.

The system, dubbed NextStorm, will provide short-term forecasts of powerful electrical storms or heavy rainfall likely to cause flooding. The news came while Costa Rica is still fixing up the damage in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Alma.

NextStorm represents “a major advance in putting earth observation data and other tools to work in protecting people and livelihoods in southern Mexico and throughout Central America,” GEO Secretariat director José Achache said... Read full article on-line or download full text.


Scientists fighting disease with climate forecasts

WASHINGTON (AP), 19 June 2008 — A cyclone wrecks coastal Myanmar, spawning outbreaks of malaria, cholera and dengue fever. Flooding inundates Iowa, raising an array of public health concerns. With climate change come new threats to life, and scientists hope to be able to better predict them as they forecast the weather.

"Everything is connected in our earth system," Conrad C. Lautenbacher, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said at a panel on "Changing Climate: Changing Health Patterns."

The key is bringing all types of data together — health, weather, human behavior, disasters and others — "it's science without borders," Lautenbacher said.

He said 73 countries and more than 50 international organizations are currently participating in the Global Earth Observation System of Systems and more are expected to join...

Read full article on-line or download full text.


Atlas of Africa’s Changing Environment demonstrates power of Earth observations

GENEVA, 10 June 2008 - The Africa edition of the United Nations Environment Programme's “Atlas of our Changing Environment” highlights how modern Earth observation systems can support action to address humanity’s growing impact on the natural environment.

By comparing satellite images and ground photos of specific locations taken 30 years ago and then again today, the Atlas makes it possible to truly comprehend the decade-scale changes occurring in the African environment.

UNEP has presented the Atlas, which was released on 10 June, as a contribution to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems. For more information and a link to the Atlas, you can download the full text .


Species Monitoring Seen Helping Slow Extinctions

OSLO, 10 April 2008 - A three-day meeting of 100 scientists and officials in Potsdam, Germany, will end on Thursday with a deal on building blocks for a "Biodiversity Observation Network" for animals and plants facing threats such as pollution or climate change... Download full text
For more information on the GEO Biodiversity Observation Network, see the GEO BON home page.


Ambitious new monitoring network will advance international efforts to rescue the world’s vanishing biological diversity

POTSDAM, Germany, 3 April 2008 – Some 90 leading scientific and intergovernmental organizations are joining forces here from 8-10 April (Tuesday to Thursday) to start building a global Biodiversity Observation Network that will monitor and assess the status of the world’s species and ecosystems in order to prevent their further loss... Download full text


Idea of Flying Earth Climate Observation Sensors on Iridium NEXT Gains Universal Approval, Focus Moves to Funding

  Iridium satellite constellation

Bethesda, Md., January 30 - Iridium(R) Satellite and the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Secretariat are pleased to announce the successful conclusion of a meeting at the Royal Society in London on January 22, 2008. The meeting, "Exploiting the New Earth Observation Paradigm," organized by Trident Sensors Ltd., was a follow-up to the GEO IV Plenary and Ministerial Summit in Cape Town last November... Download full text


GEO and ITU join forces on Earth observation satellites, emergencies and capacity building

Geneva, 10 December 2007 - The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at strengthening cooperation on remote sensing of the Earth, particularly in the field of disaster preparedness and response... Download full text


Brazil and China join forces to distribute satellite imagery to Africa at zero cost

CBERS satellite path  

Cape Town, 28 November 2007 – The China Brazil Earth Resources Satellite Programme (CBERS) is launching a new Earth observation service that will provide state-of-the-art images of the planet to end-users throughout Africa – free of charge... Download full text


China inaugurates new satellite system to provide environmental data to users throughout the Asia/Pacific

  Global GEONETCast Coverage

Beijing, 10 October 2007 – The Government of China has formally initiated a new satellite communications system that will enable developing countries without powerful Internet connections to access and use environmental data and analyses, which are critical for decision-making in today’s complex and fast-moving world... Download full text


Cape Town Ministerial Declaration calls for strengthening and integrating Earth Observation and Prediction Systems, 30 November 2007


Cape Town to host Ministerial Summit on Earth observations, 22 November 2007


Adapting to climate change will require a higher order of “environmental intelligence”, 21 November 2007


NOAA AWARDS GEONETCast Americas CONTRACT, 24 September 2007