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Capacity Building Committee

Note: The information on this page was current until December 2011.


The Capacity Building Committee supports GEO in strengthening the capability of all countries, in particular developing countries, to use Earth observation data and products in a sustainable manner and to contribute observations and systems to GEOSS.

The GEO capacity building strategy follows the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) concept of a global partnership between those whose capacity needs development and those who are able to assist in the process, recognizing that activities have intertwined social, environmental, and economic impacts.


  • Facilitate Earth observation capacity building activities among GEO Members, in concert with GEO Participating Organizations.
  • Build global capacity to access, retrieve, analyze, include into appropriate models, and interpret relevant data from global data systems.
  • Build global capacity to integrate Earth observation data and information with data and information from other sources, improving understanding of problems in order to identify sustainable solutions.
  • Develop a coordinated capacity building strategy among GEO members and participating organizations based on the principles articulated in the GEOSS 10-Year Implementation Plan Reference Document.
  • Recommend strategies for resource mobilization.

Committee Co-Chairs:

  • Brazil– Hilcéa Ferreira, Technologist at the Earth Observation Coordination & Adviser at the International Affairs Office, National Institute for Space Research (INPE)
  • European Commission – Alan Edwards, Programme Officer, Directorate-General for Research
  • Republic of South Africa – Andiswa Mlisa, Director Geoinformatics, Umvoto Africa
  • Spain – Marta Angoloti, Head of External Relations, State Meteorological Agency of Spain (AEMET)
  • UNESCO – Yolanda Berenguer, Space Education Programme Coordinator

The GEO Secretariat Expert Staff supporting the Capacity Building Committee are: João Soares and Humbulani Mudau


Capacity Building Strategy

The intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO) foresees a world where a spectrum of global citizens – scientists, decision makers, individuals – have the ability to access and use Earth observations to make decisions for the benefit of humankind.

The GEO-sponsored effort to build a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) over the next ten years called for the development of a Capacity Building Strategy based on existing efforts and best practices. This five-year strategy should advance the implementation of GEOSS capacity building targets as established in the 10-year implementation plan. It should form the basis for establishing a roadmap for the GEO community of nations and participating organizations to guide, enhance and coordinate existing and future Earth observation capacity building activities in support of GEO’s goals. This strategy should also inform non-GEO Member nations and Participating Organizations about GEO’s capacity building approach and activities, and encourage their participation. Download the complete strategy.


Capacity Building '07-'09 Work Plan

Transverse capacity-building activities for 2007-2009 coordinated through the Capacity Building Committee will focus on the implementation of the capacity building strategy:

  • Engaging the Donor community in support of building Earth observation capacity
  • Identifying Best Practices, Gaps and Needs
  • Developing Capacity building Performance Indicators
  • Building National and Regional Capacity
  • Developing, and encouraging the use of Open Source Software
  • Enabling Knowledge Sharing for Improved Disaster Management and Emergency Response

Additionally, the following capacity building activities in some of the 9 societal benefit areas are being coordinated through GEO:

  • Developing Training Modules for Agriculture
  • Building Regional Networks for Ecosystems
  • Encouraging the use of Earth observations for Energy Policy Planning
  • Initiating a Capacity Building Program for Water Resource Management
  • Developing numerical weather-prediction capacity
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