On Tuesday afternoon, GEO Week 2021 continued with the official opening of the Seventeenth Plenary Session of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO-17). Participants heard presentations on the GEO Work Programme activities and contributions to global policy frameworks, specifically the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Taking place before the plenary session, the GEO Industry Track focused on partnerships for promoting Earth observations. It featured two engaging panel sessions on public private partnerships and on finance, as well as presentations by seven small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) regarding their work on Earth observations.
Opening GEO-17, GEO Co-Chair Zhang Guangjun, China, reported on GEO China’s Disaster Data Response Mechanism, which has been activated to provide countries with high-resolution satellite imagery in support of disaster response planning. He cited the example of support to the Thai Flood Disaster Response through satellite post-disaster data.
GEO Co-Chair Mmboneni Muofhe, South Africa, lauded GEO’s efforts in strengthening regional work, welcoming the selection of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) as host of the Digital Earth Africa Program Management Office. This, he said, marks a significant milestone in ensuring the needs, challenges, and priorities of the continent are met through reliable access to Earth observations data. Continue reading