1st GEO (Group on Earth Observations) Programme Board Meeting was held from 2-3 February 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland. Representatives from 14 Members and 14 Participating Organizations presented at the meeting. Dr. Li Pengde, Deputy Director General of National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation of China (NASG) was elected Co-chairs of GEO Programme Board together with Mr. John Matuszak from Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES), and Mr. Tim Haigh from the European Environment Agency(EEA).
The Meeting also reviewed Programme Board membership in 2016 as well as its terms of reference; focused on lessons learned from GEO’s 1st decade and provided a setting for “handing off” practices and recommendations to the Board; reviewed transitional 2016 Work Programme and Initiated preparation of 2017-2019 Work Programme; and GEO Strategic Plan 2016-2025: Implementing the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) was discussed.
Established in 2005, GEO is a voluntary partnership of governments and organizations that envisions “a future wherein decisions and actions for the benefit of humankind are informed by coordinated, comprehensive and sustained Earth observations and information.” GEO Member governments include 101 nations and the European Commission, and 92 Participating Organizations comprised of international bodies with a mandate in Earth observations. Together, the GEO community is creating a GEOSS that will link Earth observation resources world-wide across multiple Societal Benefit Areas - Biodiversity and Ecosystem Sustainability, Disaster Resilience, Energy and Mineral Resources Management, Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture, Infrastructure and Transportation Management, Public Health Surveillance, Sustainable Urban Development, Water Resources Management - and make those resources available for better informed decision-making.
The GEO Programme Board supports the on-going development and implementation of GEOSS through multi-year GEO Work Programme, works to ensure the overall coherence and alignment of the GEO Work Programme with GEO’s strategic objectives and core functions.