Produce comprehensive sets of data and information products to support decision-making for efficient management of the world's water resources, based on coordinated, sustained observations of the water cycle on multiple scales.
This will be achieved through:
Development of a sustained, operational monitoring system for the global water cycle, combining space-based, airborne, and in-situ observation networks which will:
address water resources in terms of quantitative availability and water quality;
include integrated in-situ reference sites for monitoring essential variables for water cycle measurement;
promote the upgrading of in-situ networks in regions where current networks do not meet emerging standards for observations, network enhancements, data systems, planning frameworks and implementation programs;
allow for different types of measurements to be planned in a structured way across variables, sensors, platforms and nations and in some cases development of sensor technology;
deliver a broad range of integrated data products that cover many different spatial and temporal scales, combining detailed point in-situ measurements with coarser comprehensive coverage provided by satellites.
Development of widely available, sustained water cycle data sets and related information products, at both global and basin scales, tailored to the near- and long-term needs of stakeholders and end-users, which will:
exploit past and current in-situ and satellite-based observations as well as fostering their integration into advanced models for integrated water resource management;
focus attention on developing local, regional and global hydrological risk (e.g., floods, droughts) assessment, prediction and management systems and expanded applications of integrated water resource management for sustained development;
promote the next generation of improved/enhanced products and innovative observations (with special emphasis on observational gaps: e.g., precipitation and run-off at high latitudes and water quality measurements from space), for water resources management.
This will be demonstrated by:
An operationalized and sustained global network of in-situ observation sites.
Increased availability of information products and services for monitoring changes in the water cycle, including clouds and precipitation, appropriate for both research and integrated water resource management.
Increased availability of data and information, including quantity and quality of both surface and groundwater, to support a water cycle decision making system.
Routine, reliable production of “watershed” and human health indicators from satellite data, surface and subsurface data, and data assimilation capabilities.
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.