The intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO) concluded its twelfth Plenary session and fourth Ministerial Summit on November 13th in Mexico City with commitments to share data on Earth observations at a time of exponential data growth, human development and climate change.
During the Plenary session Future Earth was recognized as a Participating Organization of GEO, enabling the community of Future Earth projects and networks to work together with GEO and its partners to share critical environmental observations to support decision-making for the benefit of humanity at a time of rapid global change.
Following the recent adoption of the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development and ahead of an anticipated global agreement on climate change, GEO launched several bold, new initiatives, including a new initiative to integrate Earth observations into national plans to attain the Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs).
Commenting on the meeting, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said,
"As we near the historic Paris climate talks, it’s clear open data and international collaboration are key to countries moving the needle on climate change. We can and should share Earth observation data to help address climate challenges because science and open data are critical to understanding land, water, wildlife & climate change. They must be at the heart of every policy decision - no country can solve it alone."
South Africa's Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, said,
“Our responsibility is to ensure the targets of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development are met. We should not take science for granted. We need to provide adequate funding for scientific research and global collaboration.”
Hosted by the Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Geografia (INEGI), the week-long conference was attended by over 400 delegates from 41 GEO governments and 39 partner organizations, and included Ministers of Environment, Science and Natural Resources. The meeting was attended by Mario Hernandez, member of the Future Earth Engagement Committee and Dennis Ojima, who is a member of the Future Earth Secretariat Implementation Team in Colorado.
Future Earth joins a group of 92 Participating Organizations in GEO, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
The Thirteenth GEO Plenary will be held in St Petersburg, Russia in November 2016.
The intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is comprised of 100 Member states, including the European Commission, and 92 Participating Organizations. GEO strives to improve the world’s observation systems and provide policy makers and scientists with accurate and useful data that can be used to make informed decisions. GEO’s primary focus is to develop a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) to enhance the ability of end-users to discover and access Earth observation data and convert it to useable and useful information.