GEO Individual Excellence and SDG award winners announced
04 Nov 2022

GEO Individual Excellence and SDG award winners announced

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The recipients of the 2022 GEO Individual Excellence Awards and the GEO SDG Awards were announced today at the closing session of the 18th GEO Plenary in Accra, Ghana.

The Individual Excellence Awards are presented annually to individuals in the GEO community who have demonstrated remarkable personal commitment to the GEO mission and vision. This year’s winners are:

Christina Justice

For over six years Christina Justice has demonstrated exemplary leadership, building the GEOGLAM Crop Monitor for Early Warning (CM4EW) community. Her leadership has resulted in innovative approaches to food security monitoring that are inclusive, transparent, and highly impactful. In addition, she has led the development of enhanced climate forecasting, conflict reports and special reports for proactive disaster response. Her leadership has had a tremendous impact on food security by providing early warning to international and national food security organizations.

Neil Sims

Neil Sims has led a range of high profile and successful activities in GEO since 2018, and continues to engage across a range of discipline areas. Neil has demonstrated scientific excellence, for which he received the Inaugural GEO Award for Innovation for his leadership in writing methods for SDG Indicator 15.3.1 on Land degradation. Neil has also demonstrated excellence in leadership within GEO, both in the GEO LDN Initiative which has recently become a Flagship, and in the Expert Advisory Group reviewing the relevance and operation of GEOSS.

Lynwill Garth Martin

Lnywill Garth Martin has promoted mercury monitoring activities in Africa through the GEO Flagship GOS4M as the African Focal point. The Southern Hemisphere and specifically Africa has been identified as a data scarce region for mercury monitoring, as highlighted in the latest UNEP Global Mercury Assessment. With limited resources and within a short period, Lynwill has been able to has filled gaps in mercury monitoring sites in Africa by setting up four new sites in South Africa and engaging eight other countries in Africa in mercury monitoring.

Michael Souffront

Michael Souffront developed the core technologies and workflow associated with the GEOGloWS-ECMWF global streamflow services that now provide visualization and access to a 40-year simulated historical record and daily 15-day ensemble forecasts for every river of the world. In 2022, Michael spearheaded the implementation of the OGC API standards in the GEOGloWS-ECMWF Streamflow Service within the OGC Disaster Pilot 2022 efforts. This activity accelerates trans-disciplinary collaboration, promotes broader use of the GEOGloWS ECMWF capabilities in developing solutions in the nexus realm, and increases the ability of scientists and analysts to develop products and services that respond to complex decisions during critical disaster events or for water sustainability.

You can learn more about the selection and nomination criteria here.

SDG Awards

Launched in 2019, the GEO SDG Awards, led by the EO4SDG initiative, recognize institutions, organizations, and countries that are applying Earth observations towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Eight panelists from across sectors and countries reviewed this year’s nominations, assessing the overall impact, quality and soundness of the Earth observation endeavors, and gauging their potential to be replicated and scaled up.

The winners of the fourth annual GEO SDG Awards are:

Sectoral Category Awards

  • GEO Member Country: Reforestamos México
  • GEO Participating Organization: United Nations Satellite Centre (UNOSAT) and United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
  • GEO Work Programme Activity: Digital Earth Africa
  • Academia: KTH Royal Institute of Technology
  • Commercial Sector: EOS Data Analytics

Special Category Awards

  • Collaboration: Costa Rica Ministry of Environment and Energy and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)

For more details on the winners’ achievements, visit the