Call for members to join new GEO Working Groups

Blog / March 24, 2020

Four new Working Groups have been established as part of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Work Programme. They focus on the key issues related to Capacity Development, Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction, and Data.

Individuals with relevant expertise are invited to join these GEO Working Groups to help realize their challenging mandates and to support the translation of the newly endorsed Canberra Declaration into concrete actions within the GEO Work Programme.

The Capacity Development Working Group (CD-WG) facilitates GEO’s efforts on capacity development, promoting the principle of co-creation and providing conceptual support to the design, development, implementation and evaluation of capacity development activities. With a focus on end-user engagement, this group aims to strengthen the capacity of organisations and individuals to fully utilize open Earth observations data and tools. View the terms of reference of the CD-WG here.

“Capacity Development is walking the last mile when it comes to achieving real societal impact. Besides being a Community of Practice, the Working Group supports GEO’s capacity development interventions by sharing fit-for-purpose tools, materials and innovative approaches during the full project cycle. The CD WG encourages a wide participation of members, including engagement with the Regional GEOs.” Joost Teuben, GEO Secretariat Capacity Development Coordinator.

The Climate Change Working Group (CC-WG) is convened to develop and implement a comprehensive GEO climate change action strategy to advance the use of Earth observations in support of climate adaptation and mitigation including, as relevant and appropriate, actions related to the pillars of the Paris Agreement adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). View the terms of reference of the CC-WG here.

“The GEO Work Programme brings together a broad range of global experts for coordinated action. We are counting on the support of new members to join the Climate Change Working Group to develop strategies for sustained and effective climate action using the best available Earth observation data and knowledge. We are looking to engage experts, not only from scientific disciplines or data providers, but also those working in environmental protection, adaptation, governments, and even investors to join this newly formed working group,” said Osamu Ochiai, Associate Senior Engineer, Space Applications and Operation Center, JAXA.

The Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group (DRR-WG) will develop and implement a coherent and cross-cutting approach within GEO to advance the use of Earth observations in support of countries’ disaster risk reduction and resilience efforts. These efforts include those related to the provisions of multilateral agreements such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. View the terms of reference of the DRR-WG here.

“Through collaboration and the sharing of available data and information, this group works to help countries better visualise and understand the disaster-related risks they are facing. We are looking for members with a passion to develop and apply Earth observations for disaster risk reduction.” Shanna McClain, Risk Reduction and Resilience Lead, NASA.

The Data Working Group (Data-WG) is working with the GEO community and with external stakeholders to address data policy, data ethics and data governance issues related to the collection and use of Earth observations. Recognizing the value of open Earth observation data, GEO Principals endorsed the GEO Data Sharing Principles which promote ‘Open Data by Default.’ This group will help GEO advance open data policies, thereby improving the uptake of Earth observations for the benefit of all stakeholders. View the terms of reference of the Data-WG here.

“The integration of open Earth observation data requires a globally coordinated approach to ensure user needs are met. Robust open data policies are key. These policies can ensure that trusted and reliable data is delivered to inform policy decisions. The GEO Data Working Group is bringing the open data community together to advance key issues related to data ethics, governance and policy." Bob Chen, Director CIESIN and Co-lead of GEO Human Planet Initiative.

Discover other opportunities in the 2020-2022 GEO Work Programme

All new and existing 2020-2022 GEO Work Programme  Flagships, Initiatives, Community Activities and Working Groups are open to new participants to bring their expertise in Earth observations, or their experience as users of Earth observation products and services, to help support social, economic and environmental policies and decision making.

Discover more than 60 global and regional initiatives that are contributing to Earth observation data, services, knowledge and capacity development. The GEO Work Programme encompasses biodiversity observations, ecosystem accounting, water resources management, agriculture, food security and many more. Visit the website to explore all of the opportunities to get involved here. 

How to join

We invite you to join us, extend your network, and improve your skills as you work together with researchers from around the world to improve the understanding of our planet.

Individuals interested in joining a Working Group must be nominated by the GEO Principal of their relevant GEO Member, Participating Organization or Associate. Please contact  the GEO Secretariat who will help you to connect you with your GEO Principal. Email the Secretariat at: secretariat@geosec.org

Individuals interested in GEO Flagships, Initiatives or Community Activities are asked to email the Points of Contact listed in their Implementation Plans here.

To learn more, download the Terms of Reference of the Working Groups and discover the full range of activities outlined in the GEO 2020-2022 Work Programme .

Please send us your responses before April 30, 2020.



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