GEO at the UNFCCC Climate Dialogues and Earth Information Day 2020

Blog / November 23, 2020

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) two-week virtual Climate Dialogues take place from 23 November to 4 December. The dialogues are aimed at providing a platform for governments, observers and other stakeholders to showcase progress made in 2020, and exchange views and ideas across the subsidiary bodies and Conference of the Parties (COP) agendas mandated for 2020. The discussions will cover issues around climate mitigation, adaptation, science, finance, technology, capacity building, transparency, gender, Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE), and the preparation and submission of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement. Earth observations play an important role to support many of these processes.

Though they will not replace formal negotiations, the Climate Dialogues are designed to keep momentum - alongside the Race to Zero Dialogues convened by the Climate Champions that wrapped up last week. The dialogues will also ensure a minimum delay in the multilateral climate action agenda in view of the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, United Kingdom (COP26) which has been postponed until November 2021.

Earth Information Day 2020

The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) community will be participating in the UNFCCC Climate Dialogues, notably in the virtual Earth Information Day 2020 that will take place on Monday 30 November 2020.

Earth Information Day is a mandated event under the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), whose themes and topics are guided by UNFCCC Parties’ submissions and whose outcomes also feed into ongoing negotiations. A report of the previous event is available in the summary report of Earth Information Day 2019.

Earth Information Day 2020 will provide an update on the state of the global climate in 2020 and its observation, and discuss recent advances in Earth observation technology and data processing to support decision making. An information note was prepared by the SBSTA Chair to set the scene. The note provides an overview of the Earth Information Day 2020, including information on its organization and themes, background information on activities under UNFCCC, and activities by relevant programmes and organizations, including GEO.

The Earth Information Day 2020 programme is as follows:

GEO flagships and initiatives will be represented in the panel discussion on “Recent advances in Earth observation technology and data processing to support decision making”. Catherine Nakalembe of GEOGLAM and Louis Celliers of GEO Blue Planet will speak to the contribution of Earth observations to inform decisions on adaptation in the agriculture sector, and in relation to the ocean and coastal areas, respectively. María José Sanz Sánchez of GFOI will address how Earth observations can support greenhouse gas mitigation efforts in the forestry sector. Other GEO collaborators, such as Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), World Meteorological Organization (WMO) / Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), Global Climate Observing System (GCOS),  Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), Future Earth, Mercator Ocean International, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), will be presenting their ongoing work on monitoring climate change and systematic observations to support the pillars of the Paris Agreement.

In the poster session, the GEO Mountains initiative will showcase their experience on “Monitoring and understanding the ongoing evolution of global mountain systems: Hotspots of snow cover change and other examples”; while the National Center of GeoEnvironmental Information (CENIGA) will present their work on “Combining Earth observation and policy to put ecosystems at the heart of resilient development in Costa Rica”.

All attendees (non-active participants) can view broadcasts, participate in the chat during the presentations session and view the poster sessions throughout the Climate Change Dialogues. The poster sessions will remain available after the conference on the Earth Information Day webpage.

Dialogue on the relationship between land and climate change adaptation-related matters

The GEO community will also participate in the SBSTA Dialogue on the relationship between land and climate change adaptation-related matters that will take place over two days on 30 November - 1 December 2020 as part of the Climate Dialogues.

Steven Ramage, Head of External Relations at GEO Secretariat, will be joining the session on Land and Climate Change Adaptation Actions: Experience, Good Practices and Lessons Learned at 3.30-4.20pm CET on 1 December.

This session focuses on key aspects pertaining to the assessment and monitoring of land adaptation to climate change such as mapping of land cover change, assessment of progress made in land management and climate change adaptation at the national level, identification of relevant indicators, and the assessment of risks and resilience building in land systems. It will facilitate a discussion on assessing, monitoring and evaluation of land-related adaptation actions with multiple stakeholders, and explore experience, good practices and lessons learned.

Steven Ramage  will present GEO efforts in assessing/monitoring land adaptation to climate change, such as the GEO-LDN initiative aimed to facilitate the provision of space-based information and in situ measurements for improved land management and planning; and the GEO WETLANDS initiative aimed to support stakeholders and users with Earth observation-based mapping, monitoring, inventory and assessment of wetlands.

The issue of indigenous land and climate is also key for ongoing GEO’s work in support of indigenous-led innovation in Earth observations data, science and technology.


You can register for the virtual conference here.

Follow the hashtag #ClimateDialogues on social media.

For more information please visit the following sites:

If you would like to learn more about the work of the GEO community and the Paris Agreement, please contact Sara Venturini, Climate Coordinator at the GEO Secretariat: sventurini@geosec.org.



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