Belmont Forum Pathways to Sustainability: Learn more in the GEO Informational Webinar

News / 30 September 2020

The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) has partnered to support the Belmont Forum call on “Transdisciplinary Research for Pathways to Sustainability.” More information on the call can be found here.

As part of ongoing resource mobilisation efforts, GEO is offering an in-kind contribution  for those applicants belonging to GEO Members (currently 111 UN Member States). In particular, winning projects will have access to our network, resources, and stakeholders of selected GEO Work Programme activities with the aim to integrate, support, or scale-up the work being undertaken by such GEO activities, including the GEO Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON), Global Forest Observation Initiative (GFOI), GEO Global Agricultural Monitoring Initiative (GEOGLAM), GEO Land Degradation Neutrality Initiative (GEO-LDN), and Earth Observation for the Sustainable Development Goals (EO4SDG). The GEO Secretariat will help liaise with the winning projects that qualify for the GEO resources.

This webinar will provide an opportunity for those submitting proposals  to connect with the GEO resources for the Pathways call. As well there will be time to learn more about relevant GEO programmes that could be leveraged to achieve the call objective. Participation in the webinar is not required to propose to the Pathways to Sustainability call but is encouraged, particularly for those wishing to leverage GEO resources.

The webinar will take place on Wednesday, September 30th from 14h00-16h00 CEST using a BlueJeans platform.

Please register for the webinar:

Register here to participate

All proposals should be submitted to bfgo.org by October 31, 2020.


Wednesday, September 30th 14h00-16h00 CEST 

14:00 - 14:10 CEST

  • Welcome and Introduction
    (Steven Ramage - Head of External Relations, GEO Secretariat)

14:10 - 14:40 CEST

  • How the Belmont Forum and CRA Pathways work
    (Erica Key - Executive Director, Belmont Forum Secretariat)
  • Q&A session

14:40 - 15:00 CEST

  • GEO’s resources for CRA Pathways (Gilberto Camara - Director, GEO Secretariat)
  • Q&A session

15:00 - 15:30

  • Earth Observations for the Sustainable Development Goals
    (Argie Kavvada - EO4SDG Lead, NASA)
  • The GEO Global Agricultural Monitoring initiative
    (Ian Jarvis - Director, GEOGLAM Secretariat)
  • The GEO Biodiversity Observation Network
    (Laetitia Navarro - Executive Secretary, GEO BON)
  • The GEO Land Degradation Neutrality Initiative
    (Antje Hecheltjen, GEO-LDN Co-Chair)
  • Q&A session 

15:30 - 16:00

  • Open discussion with participants
    (Steven Ramage - Head of External Relations, GEO Secretariat)


Erica Key

Executive Director, Belmont Forum Secretariat

Dr. Erica Key is the Executive Director of the Belmont Forum, an international partnership of funding, resource, and science coordination organizations committed to transdisciplinary, transnational approaches to global environmental change. She leads membership and strategic development for the Forum, building a funding ecosystem capable of supporting a range of knowledge types and geographies in collaborative research and action with stakeholders.  Erica has also supported the implementation of the Forum’s Open Data and Open Access Policy and Principles in all elements of its funding and review program, including targeted funding for innovative re-use of Belmont Forum data and digital objects.  Erica draws on her experience as a program director at the U.S. National Science Foundation, interagency agreements lead, and a global change researcher to elevate Belmont Forum activities through transparent communication, flexible partnering, and active engagement with the international research and data communities.  She holds a Ph.D. in meteorology and physical oceanography from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School for Marine Sciences.


Gilberto Camara

Director, GEO Secretariat

Prof. Dr. Gilberto Camara joined GEO as Secretariat Director in July 2018. He is well-known in the GEO community as a leading researcher in Geoinformatics, Geographical Information Science, and Land Use Change, and he has been recognised internationally for promoting free access and open source software for Earth observation data. Under his guidance, as Director for Earth observation (2001-2005) and Director General (2006-2012), Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE) made significant advances in land change monitoring using remote sensing, which contributed to Brazil achieving 80% decrease in deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, supporting Brazil’s commitment made at the UNFCCC COP15. This achievement was hailed as “the biggest environmental success story in a decade” by the scientific journal Nature. In support of Brazil's pledge to the 2015 Paris Agreement, Gilberto led a team that projected Brazil’s future emissions from land use and agriculture.


Argyro Kavvada


Dr. Argyro Kavvada serves a dual role as Manager of the Earth Sciences Division’s Sustainable Development Goals Activities to extend uses of Earth science and applications in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), while also leading Booz Allen Hamilton's project on studies, assessments, and strategic management for the Applied Sciences Program in NASA’s Earth Science Division. She serves as the Executive Secretary for the international Earth Observations for the Sustainable Development Goals (EO4SDG) initiative that NASA co-leads, and the NASA representative to the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites SDG Working Group. In this role, she has built a network of thought leaders and collaborators in the Earth observation and international development landscape


Ian Jarvis

Director, GEOGLAM Secretariat

Ian is currently the Programme Director of the GEO Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM), responsible for the coordination of the global agricultural monitoring initiative. Previously he was Director of Agro-Climate, Geomatics and Earth Observation for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, where he was responsible for the development and implementation of Canada’s agricultural monitoring capacity.


Laetitia Navarro

Executive Secretary, GEO BON

Laetitia Navarro is a French conservation biologist. She received her PhD degree from the University of Lisbon, Portugal and focused her research on rewilding as a restoration approach for degraded ecosystems. She participated in the Global Biodiversity Outlook 4 and was a lead author in the IPBES Assessment on Land Degradation and Restoration.

Since 2016, she is the Executive Secretary of GEO BON based at the German centre for integrative biodiversity research (iDiv) in Leipzig, Germany. Her role is to coordinate the network and to support the GEO BON members in the development of their activities. At the GEO BON Secretariat, she also investigates the monitoring of biodiversity and its policy relevance. 


Antje Hecheltjen

GEO-LDN Co-Chair

Antje is a political advisor in international cooperation at the German Development Agency (GIZ). As a geographer, she works at the interface between humans and the environment on issues of sustainable development with a special focus on land-related issues. With a strong background in geoinformation and remote sensing, Antje serves as co-chair of the GEO-LDN Initiative and adds development policy perspectives to the technically oriented work: Data use beyond national reporting to support planning and decision-making processes and co-designing with the user.



Steven Ramage

Head of External Relations, GEO Secretariat

Steven Ramage leads external relations at the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Secretariat, this involves focussing on the interfaces between science, technology, policy and decisions. He is on the Governing Board of Digital Earth Africa, an ad hominem member of the UK Space Agency Earth Observation Advisory Board and the Advisory Board of EO4GEO. Steven was an owner/director of 1Spatial before taking on a role as Executive Director of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), and then Managing Director of Ordnance Survey International. Steven is a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Future Cities, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow and former SASNet Fellow at the Urban Big Data Centre at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. He's also a member of the OGC Global Advisory Council and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS). He tweets as @steven_ramage



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