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A call to countries: Invest in Earth observations to manage economies, communities and ecosystems

Blog / Maddie West / March 14, 2019

Are your government agencies fully exploiting the vast amounts of free and open information, data and knowledge about the Earth for better economic, social and environmental decision and policy making?

A lack of awareness of the value of Earth observations prevents many countries from making sufficient investments to reap the many benefits they offer. That’s where the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and its thousands of partners around the world come in. The GEO community is helping countries realize the benefits of available data and technologies, and driving forward science, technology and collaboration for new solutions to our biggest challenges.

Countries that invest money, focus, time and human resources in capacity development and institutional strengthening are able to improve the way their government agencies, research institutions and businesses use Earth observations. The information and knowledge they gain informs decisions that lead to returns across their economies, and advances sustainable development - from urban centres to forests and oceans.

 

GEO Secretariat Director and Executive Committee Co-chairs during the GEO-XV Plenary in Kyoto, Japan
GEO Secretariat Director and Executive Committee Co-chairs during the GEO-XV Plenary in Kyoto, Japan
GEO Secretariat Director and Executive Committee Co-chairs during the GEO-XV Plenary in Kyoto, Japan
GEO Secretariat Director and Executive Committee Co-chairs during the GEO-XV Plenary in Kyoto, Japan

From 4-9 November 2019, Ministers from GEO’s 105 Member governments, business leaders, heads of international organizations and leading experts will meet in Canberra, Australia for GEO Week 2019 / GEO Ministerial Summit. We want you to be there, to share your experiences and learn from others as we explore how investments in Earth observation can deliver major returns on investment to our economies and communities.

We’ll be discussing a wide range of issues, including the future of work, trade in digital services, privacy in a big data world, and the sharing economy. We’ll also be giving you a platform to to highlight your Earth observation capabilities and announce new actions and investments.

Not sure how Earth observations can benefit you?

GEO focuses on supporting countries to reach targets under the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

More generally, Earth observation-based information, tools and resources have many applications, including for:

  • Agriculture and food security
  • Disaster risk reduction
  • Climate change monitoring and action
  • Land-use planning, deforestation and land degradation
  • Urban planning and sustainability
  • Freshwater and ocean management
  • Pollutant monitoring (air, land and water)
  • Ecosystem management and biodiversity
  • Public health surveillance and early warning
  • Infrastructure and transportation management
  • Energy and mineral resource management

You can find practical examples of Earth observation tools that are improving our world in the 2017-18 GEO Highlights Report.

 

ICHARM Director Toshio Koike speaks with Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, at the GEO Week 2018 Exhibition.
ICHARM Director Toshio Koike speaks with Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, at the GEO Week 2018 Exhibition.
ICHARM Director Toshio Koike speaks with Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, at the GEO Week 2018 Exhibition.
ICHARM Director Toshio Koike speaks with Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, at the GEO Week 2018 Exhibition.

New digital technologies are changing the way we work and live, and offer us new opportunities to deliver sustained and inclusive economic growth and address the shared and unique challenges that we face in our countries, regions and as a global community. The integration of Earth observation data into the digital economy is critical for this to happen. By participating in the 2019 GEO Ministerial Summit, you’ll be taking an important step towards this end.

Join us on the road to Canberra - we’ll be with you every step of the way!

Learn more:

 

About the author

Maddie West

Maddie West is a Communications and Design consultant.

 @madwst

 

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