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Can we have a GEO Initiative on a common approach to Essential Variables? - recorded

Mon 29 October from 08:30 to 10:00 in Room D

Recording: Watch here!

The concept of Essential Variables (EVs) is increasingly used in Earth observation communities to identify those variables that have a high impact, high feasibility and relative low cost of implementation. The community of GCOS was the first to develop a full set of Essential Climate Variables (ECV). Other examples of communities applying the same concept are oceans (EOV), biosphere (EBV), water cycle, etc. ConnectinGEO illustrated that EVs can be a useful approach to several indicators for monitor SDGs. ERA-PLANET GEO-Essential proposes a need to review and extend the current EV framework and a priority assignment in designing, deploying and maintaining EV in connection with the responsible observation networks. At the same time, EVs should be promoted among all SBAs in GEO. In this event we will invite a panel of experts to discuss about the current status of the EVs, the usefulness of some of them in creating SDG indicators and the gaps to be solved in communities in the near future. Finally, we will define a roadmap to create a new community initiative about EVs in the future GEO work program.


Motivational talks (Moderator: TBD). [40 minutes]

  • Welcome presentations from ConnectinGEO and GEOEssential projects (Joan Masó, CREAF and Anthony Lehmann, University of Genève)
  • EBV definition process: Steps and consensus (Laetitia Navarro, GEOBON)
  • The work in GEOGLOWS to define Water EVs: First steps and status (Dr. José Romero, Chief Scientist Environment International Abt. Internationales, BAFU )
  • EVs definition for crop monitoring: developing a common language (Ian Jarvis, GEOGLAM)

Round table (Moderator: Joan Masó, CREAF). [50 minutes]

  • The role of Ecosystem EVs (Michael Mirtl, EAA), 3-5 minutes presentation
  • Research Infrastructures as data providers for EVs (Ari Asmi, ENVRI network), 3-5 minutes presentation
  • The process to establish a GEO Initiative and mobilize different committees  (Douglas Cripe, geosec), 3-5 minutes presentation
  • Open floor to all the participants and the audience (

Final remarks and conclusions (Joan Masó and Anthony Lehmann)




Ivette Serral (


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