Substantially expand the availability, use, and application of environmental information for public health decision-making in areas of health that include allergens, toxins, infectious diseases, food-borne diseases, and chronic diseases, particularly with regard to the impact of climate and ecosystem changes.
This will be achieved through:
Working with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the global community of human health and environment experts in order to develop and implement health-and-environment projects which will:
advance the application of observation, monitoring and forecasting systems to health decision-making processes;
foster the use of established and emerging observation systems in operational health-related applications for air and water quality, infectious diseases, and vector-borne diseases, and develop associated products such as forecasts and alerts compliant with the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP);
include efforts to examine terrestrial, freshwater, and marine (ocean) ecosystems and their services, to establish causality between changes in flora, fauna and other factors affecting the emergence and transmission of disease;
document links between water and communicable diseases, as part of the life cycle of vectors or as a medium infecting populations;
facilitate the integration of Earth science databases and emerging information products with public health data, socioeconomic data, and epidemiological information needed in decision support systems for health care planning and delivery.
development of a global network of scientists, researchers, practitioners and other operational end users which will:
provide free access to an expanded inventory of available Earth observation data, metadata and products applicable to public health;
provide input relating to the technical specification of new major environmental observation capabilities, including in-situ and remotely sensed observations that will allow historical data analysis and early detection of changes that influence health;
facilitate Earth observation training and capacity building for future scientists, researchers, public health policy makers and practitioners, and end users, including contributions of best practices in this domain to the GCI best practices registry.
This will be demonstrated by:
Access to improved environmental information and tools to support the global community of human health and environment experts.
Increased use of environmental information and tools to support decision making in epidemics and/or disease management and planning for well-being. The effectiveness of these tools is demonstrated in at least 3 specific areas on different continents.
Increased Applying outcomes from other Societal Benefit Areas to improve health and well-being.
The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) has contributed $5,000 to help defray expenses of worthy applicants from economically disadvantaged nations in Africa to attend the combined AfricaGIS 2013 and GSDI 14 conference and training workshops before and after the conference. GEO would like to invite, encourage and challenge additional geospatial organizations and agencies from across the globe to make additional contributions. Check out grant / conference details here
Providing water in areas with unsustainable usage
Fresh water is a fundamental requirement for humanity's well-being. However, more than one billion people today are without safe drinking water. Water for the World, a program to bring fresh water to those who do not have it, is supported by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the IEEE Foundation. The program is part of IEEE's collaboration with Group on Earth Observations (GEO). Our goal is to make progress using existing and innovative technologies that are easy to implement and scalable across a broad spectrum of the global population. Download full article here
GEO European Project's Workshop
The European Commission has concluded the 7th GEO European Projects Workshop (GEPW-7). The workshop took place in the Casa de la Convalescencia conference facility in Barcelona, on 15 and 16 April, and was hosted by CREAF (Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications) and the Autonomous University of Barcelona, through the European project GeoViQua.
GEPW-7 has continued and extended the effort to develop the collaboration between the GEO initiative and the European Commission projects on Earth Observation, funded through the Framework Programme of Community Research.
On the 11th of February, a new Earth observation satellite was lauched as part of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM). The satellite circles the planet in less than 2 hours, relaying images with a moderate-resolution of 15 to 100 meters.
The images, which are distributed at no charge, are a unique resource for global change research and applications in the areas of agriculture, forestry and natural disasters management. Details can be found on the USGS and NASA websites
The economic value of EO data
Whether it is remotely sensed, in-situ, ocean-based, or surface-based; earth observation (EO) data is essential for making informed public policy decisions in many areas involving societal benefits like climate variability and change, energy management, agriculture, biodiversity, human health and epidemiology, weather forecasting and water management. The economic value of EO data is in its utility... Read full article as published in Geospatial World, January 2013.
Paper on Essential Biodiversity Variables
Reducing the rate of biodiversity loss and averting dangerous biodiversity change are international goals. However, there is no global, harmonized observation system for delivering regular, timely data on biodiversity change. Partners from the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) are developing - and seeking consensus around - Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) that could form the basis of monitoring programs worldwide. Read Full Paper and consult the GEO BON EBVs page here.
GEO, in cooperation with the European Commission, organized a side Event on "Climate: improving knowledge and addressing societal needs", which took place on the 27 November at the European Union Pavilion at COP18 in Doha. The event provided an overview of the GEO initiatives addressing climate change, covering the observations, research, and insights into the Global Carbon Observation and Analysis System and the Global Forest Observation Initiative (GFOI). Find the program and presentations on the event web page.
Mobilization of the GEO community to the achievement of the CBD 2020 Aichi Targets
The achievement of the international biodiversity targets (2020 Aichi Targets), requires the mobilization of the entire GEO community, according to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Executive Secretariat, Dr. Braulio Dias. Dr. Dias expressed to GEO Secretariat Director Ryan, CBD's appreciation for the work that the GEO BON community has done heretofore. At the same time, he highlighted the desire for increased involvement of the entire GEO community, such as those working on Global Land Cover, Agriculture, Oceans, Forests, etc, for achieving the CBD 2020 Aichi Targets. A concept note, articulating this enhanced involvement, was presented to the CBD Conference of the Parties (COP-11) in October. The concept note can be downloaded here
Fourth Evaluation of GEOSS Implementation
The Group on Earth Observations wishes to announce the start of work of the Fourth Evaluation of implementation of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems. This evaluation will encompass the Societal Benefit Areas (SBAs) Disasters, Energy and Health. The full announcement can be downloaded here.
CEOS & GEO: a vital partner-ship for Earth observation
The willingness and ability of CEOS to engage in the GEO Work Plan Tasks has been critical to the advances we have made so far in building GEOSS. The impact of CEOS on GEOSS implementation has increased with each new multi-year Work Plan, and this CEOS leadership has been widely recognized throughout the GEO community. At the same time, CEOS has greatly benefited from the establishment of GEO and the political profile and strategic guidance that GEO has brought to Earth observation. Read full article in: CEOS newsletter No.39,p2
GMES contribution to GEOSS
Representatives from different societal benefit areas, key decision makers and the GEO Secretariat attended the "GMES in Action" Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, 4-5 June to show their support for the European Earth monitoring programme GMES: Global Monitoring for Environment and Security. They agreed on a "Copenhagen Resolution" which states GMES as a major contributor to GEOSS.
An update on the Agriculture SBA
Research Media caught up with the GEO Secretariat recently to discuss the progress being made on the agricultural component of GEOSS. The interview is available here.
Announcing the GEO Carbon Office
The European Commission-funded GEOCARBON project has launched a GEO Carbon Office. The Carbon Offfice will support the GEO Global Carbon Observation and Analysis System by strengthening coordination and engaging more contributors. For more information or to contribute to GEO Task CL-02 on GCOAS, please visit the GEOCARBON website or contact Task PoC Antonio Bombelli.
GEO-VIII Plenary accepts new GEO 2012-2015 Work Plan
The Scientific and Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) hosted the GEO-VIII Plenary in Istanbul on 16 and 17 November. The Plenary's 380+ participants accepted the new GEO 2012-2015 Work Plan and the new Work Plan management structure. They also welcomed the recent improvements to the GEOSS Common Infrastructure, which now provides access to millions of data sets and information products through the GEO Portal. This includes the GEOSS Data-CORE, a distributed pool of documented datasets with full, open and unrestricted access at no more than the cost of reproduction and distribution. Other important outcomes of the meeting included an assessment and review of the progress made to date on GEOSS implementation, acceptance of the GEO Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI) Implementation Plan, and the launch of a process for defining the post-2015 phase of GEOSS. The review of the GEO-VIII Meeting Outcomes is available here
G20 Ministers launch GEO agricultural initiative
The agriculture ministers of the G20 countries adopted a ministerial declaration on 23 June in Paris launching a Global Agricultural Geo-Monitoring Initiative.
The aim of this GEO-led international monitoring network is to produce more accurate crop forecast data in order to promote food security. The Declaration is available here.