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Four Actions to “Invest in Our Planet”

Blog / April 22, 2022

Today is the 52nd anniversary of Earth Day, a global movement started by millions of citizens concerned about the state of our planet. This year's theme is “Invest in Our Planet” and focuses on accelerating solutions to climate change and mobilising everyone - governments, citizens, and businesses - to do their part.

Every day the GEO community works across geographic and institutional boundaries to better understand our global climate and develop equitable, practical climate action. That's why we are joining the Earth Day movement and invite you to take part in harnessing the power of Earth observations (EO) to support a better future for all. Here are four concrete actions you can take to “Invest in Our Planet”: 

1. Interested in applying EO to real-world problems? Contribute to the GEO Work Programme 2023-2025 

Everyone is welcome to join an existing GEO activity or propose a new activity in the GEO Work Programme (GWP). The GEO Work Programme (GWP) creates a framework in which countries, international organisations, the private sector, researchers, and others can work together to harness the power of EO to address environmental and socioeconomic challenges. GWP activities have led to the development of numerous EO-based tools delivering impact in many parts of the world. These impacts include preventing famine, providing hazard warnings for floods and forest fires, and supporting biodiversity, climate, and environmental actions. The GEO Report on Impact 2016-2019 and the most recent Highlights Report 2020 provide some examples of successful activities from the GEO work programme. 

2. Want to maximise the impact of EO for the benefit of all? Contribute to the GEO Knowledge Hub. 

Transparency and replicability of data are critical to addressing our most pressing social and environmental challenges. However, there are still many barriers between people and data. The overarching goals of open knowledge can help create a transparent and inclusive environment to promote innovation and advance digital transformation to benefit all societies.. If you are interested in joining the open knowledge movement, contribute to the GEO Knowledge Hub (GKH), a digital repository that provides open access to the knowledge needed to build EO applications. The GKH includes the following elements:

  1. Research papers and reports describing methods and results.
  2. Software algorithms and cloud computing resources used for processing.
  3. In situ and satellite imagery data used.
  4. Verification results.
  5. Videos and other communication materials.

3. Invest in Indigenous led projects. Support the GEO Indigenous Alliance.

Earth observation data and tools, when developed with and for Indigenous peoples, can promote a people-centred and Indigenous knowledge-based approach to climate action. Indigenous leaders in Canberra, Australia, founded the GEO Indigenous Alliance (GIA) in 2019 to promote culturally appropriate and inclusive EO applications. GIA advocates for the inclusion of all Indigenous and underrepresented communities in developing, using, and implementing EO tools in a respectful manner. The GEO Indigenous Alliance Summit report from 2021 provides examples of Indigenous-led projects and the challenges communities face in accessing and using EO data and tools. 

4. Amplify the voices of the youth. Join the GEO Youth Community of Practice 

The future of our planet belongs to the youth. And GEO is dedicated to involving the youth from around the world in the mission to promote the use of environmental information to impact change. We do this by making young people's voices heard and increasing youth participation in climate action. We recently convened the  GEO Youth Community of Practice (GEO Youth) to increase youth involvement in GEO's work, including in GWP activities and GEO events. Since 2018, the GEO community has mentored hundreds of youth worldwide through annual Indigenous Hackathons geared toward underrepresented communities, as well as through attendance at the annual GEO Week and other events. Anyone interested in contributing to GEO's intergenerational integration efforts and amplifying the voices of youth can join GEO Youth. 

For more information, please contact: 

GEO Work Programme: GEO-WP@geosec.org

GEO Knowledge Hub: Paola De Salvo, pdesalvo@geosec.org 

GEO Indigenous Alliance: Diana Mastracci Sanchez, diana.mastracci.sanchez@gmail.com 

GEO Youth: Florian Franziskakis, ffranziskakis@geosec.org

 

 

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