GEO 2017-2019 Work Programme


Earth Observations for Health (EO4HEALTH)

Activity ID: 143


Earth observations for health inform early warning to early action. This Community Activity supports the systematic collection, analysis, and application of relevant information about and coming from areas of impending risk that:

  • Inform the development of strategic responses to anticipate risks and opportunities and their evolution; and
  • Communicate options to critical actors for the purposes of decision-making and response.

A goal of this activity is to foster the development of integrated information systems that improve the capacity to predict, respond to and reduce environment-related health risks. These systems combine Earth observations, monitoring and prediction; social, demographic and health information; interdisciplinary research, application and assessment; communication, education and training in order to enhance preparedness and resilience. Three initial focus areas are

  • weather and climate extremes (e.g., heat);
  • water-related illness (e.g., cholera); and
  • vector borne disease (e.g., dengue, malaria).

Activities for the period

The activity will pursue events and workshops for the GEO Health Community of Practice. The activity will continue or establish robust working teams in at least the three topic areas. The teams will identify and engage health partners and clarify health needs; address training needs; identify and address; observation and prediction gaps and needs; and establish work plans with the goal of having at least one prototype system in place for each topic area by 2020.  The activity will scope out activities for support of health-related Sustainable Development Goals.

Future Plans

The activity will seek ways to connect Earth observations with vector-borne and infectious disease issues, challenges, and decision-making through active partnerships with public health managers and organizations, such as NGOs, that support them.  The activity will expand efforts on relevant sustainable development goals, connecting with other GEO Work Programme elements and, in particular, regional efforts of AfriGEOSS, AmeriGEOSS, and AOGEOSS.

Activities will include Applications projects; Feasibility studies, including testing and validation of proofs-of-concept of possible applications; Development of data-fusion products with strong applications and applied research potential; Demonstrations that complete the transition, adoption, and sustained use of Earth observations; training; and, Studies on value of Earth observations for decision making, preparedness, response, or resilience.


The Community Activity operates through in-kind contributions of financial and other resources to conduct the activities.



Members: Canada, Mexico, Germany, South Africa, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Japan
Participating Organizations: WHO, WMO, GFCS

Linkages across the Work Programme

Flagships: GPS4M.
Initiatives: AfriGEOSS; AmeriGEOSS; AOGEOSS; GEOGLOWS; GOS4POPS; Blue Planet.
Community Activities: AIRNOW International; Coperinicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service; HAB Early Warning System.

Leadership & Contributors (this list is being populated)




Implementing Entity



John Haynes

United States



Juli Trtanj

United States



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