New GEO membership category for commercial entities and national organizations
Press release / 27 March 2019 / Group on Earth Observations
The new GEO Associates category paves the way for commercial and non-governmental, not-for-profit and civil society organizations to join governments and international organizations as official collaborators of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), a global intergovernmental partnership that improves the availability, access and use of Earth observations for a sustainable planet.
Eligible organizations for inclusion in the new category include companies and national associations of companies, as well as non-governmental, not-for-profit and civil society organizations that have a mandate related to Earth observations and that are registered in the territory of a GEO Member country.
The addition of the new category reflects the growing engagement and contributions of diverse sectors in GEO’s Work Programme and in support of GEO’s mission to realize a future where decisions and actions, for the benefit of humankind, are informed by coordinated, comprehensive and sustained Earth observation data, information and services.
“GEO’s strength lies in its broad and diverse member base - we are a global community of practitioners that is committed to collaborating on the toughest issues facing our planet,” said GEO Secretariat Director Gilberto Camara, “By enabling more stakeholders to formally engage with GEO we further strengthen our capacity to deliver results.”
Commercial products and services based on Earth observations provide important public and private benefits, foster scientific and technological innovation and spur economic development.
GEO has historically welcomed engagement from commercial organizations in support of its mission. GEO provides these entities with the opportunity to connect with and learn from its expansive Earth observation expert and user communities, including scientific and technical experts from universities, government agencies, research institutions and international organizations.
In return for helping to build the open resources and services used by the GEO community, engaged commercial organizations gain insight into the data and information needs of the GEO community that can inform their investments and receive access to market opportunities in the GEO member states.
In line with principles of inclusion and diversity, GEO has included national non-governmental, not-for-profit and civil society organizations in the new Associates category.
Previously included as part of national delegations, these organizations will now be able to join GEO directly, in recognition of their important stakeholder status in the global Earth observation community.
Successful candidates for GEO Associate status will demonstrate two or more years of substantive involvement with GEO, and identify their self-funded and sustained contribution to GEO.
While Associates do not participate in the governance of GEO, they will join the GEO Member governments and Participating Organizations in informing the development and implementation of the GEO Work Programme, and may be invited to participate in GEO Plenaries to inform the strategic planning for GEO to meet its key objectives and mission goals.
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