GEO invited sessions at ESA Living Planet Symposium

Blog / May 23, 2022

The GEO Secretariat was invited to organise two scientific sessions, on Open Knowledge and Indigenous led innovation, and two networking events at the European Space Agency's Living Planet Symposium - one of the largest Earth observation conferences in the world. This prestigious event, to be held in Bonn, Germany, May 23-27, 2022, and co-organized with the German Aerospace Centre, will offer all participants the opportunity to learn first-hand about the latest scientific discoveries about our planet.

Participants will also learn how Earth observations (EO) from space supports environmental research and action to combat the climate crisis, learn about new EO technologies, and, most importantly, learn more about the new opportunities emerging in the rapidly changing EO sector.

In addition to the GEO invited sessions, there will be several sessions dedicated to GEO initiatives:

  • Towards improved availability, access and use of open Earth observations in GEOSS
  • GEOGLAM the First Decade: Progress in Operational Agricultural Monitoring

And several other sessions include the following GEO initiatives: EO4EA, GEO BON, GEO Wetlands, GEO LDN and AfriGEO.

The GEO Secretariat will be represented by Yana Gevorgyan, Madeeha Bajwa, Paola De Salvo, Diana Mastracci, Laurent Durieux and Florian Franziskakis. Below you will find the detailed list of all the GEO invited sessions at the ESA Living Planet Symposium. We look forward to seeing you there.


Tuesday 24 May 2022

Scientific Session

Title of Session: Open Knowledge for a Sustainable Future: The GEO Knowledge Hub & the GEO Youth CoP

Time: 13:30-15:10 CEST

Room: H2-17

To solve our most pressing social and environmental challenges, data transparency and replication are key. However, there are still widespread barriers between people and data. The overarching goals of Open Knowledge can help us create a transparent and inclusive environment that enables everyone - scientists, data providers, policy makers, and the general public - to maximise the impact of Earth observations (EO) for the benefit of all. The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) advocates for the adoption of Open Knowledge to maximise the use and impact of EO data and tools. Through the GEO Knowledge Hub (GKH), an open source digital repository of freely accessible, authoritative and reproducible knowledge created by the GEO community, the goal is to increase the impact of the GEO work programme. This will be delivered by improving the discovery and replication of EO tools for policy development and decision making. The GEO community is a growing and diverse international network of researchers, policy makers, practitioners and st udents interested in both open EO data, open science and the broader concept of open knowledge. To better engage young professionals and support their actions to make a difference through Open Knowledge and  EO, GEO will soon launch the GEO Youth CoP.

Presentations will highlight how the GKH is creating  conditions for an inclusive, transparent and sustainable EO data environment by removing barriers to access and use of EO, provide details on current projects in the GEO work programme, and introduce the GEO Youth CoP.

Session Conveners: Paola De Salvo (GEO Secretariat), Florian Franziskakis (GEO Secretariat)

Chair: Diana Mastracci, (GEO Indigenous Alliance)

  • Paola De Salvo, GEO Secretariat, “Towards Open Knowledge: the GEO Knowledge Hub”  & Florian Franziskakis, GEO Secretariat, “The GEO Youth CoP” 
  • Thomas Kemper, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, “Understanding Human Settlements with free and open data: the GEO Human Planet Initiative” 
  • Yvonne Walz, United Nations University, Markus Neteler, Mundialis, Manuel Urrutia UNU-EHS & Guido Riembauer, Mundialis “How open access data and knowledge supports national focal points for monitoring progress of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.”
  • Benjamin Goffartm, University of Louvain, “Challenges and Benefits of Sen2Agri in the Cloud” 
  • Tomàs Artés, European Commission Joint Research Centre, "GlobFire, a Global Scale Database of Wildfire Events as Knowledge Package In the GEO Knowledge Hub"

Scientific Session

Title of Session: The GEO Indigenous Alliance 

Time of Session: 15:40-17:20 CEST

Room: H2-17

Earth observation (EO) data and tools, when developed in collaboration with and for Indigenous peoples, can promote a people-centred and Indigenous knowledge-based approach to climate action. The GEO Indigenous Alliance was founded in 2019 by Indigenous leaders in Canberra, Australia, to promote culturally appropriate and inclusive EO applications for climate action. It is committed to ensuring that all Indigenous and underrepresented communities are included in the development, use, and implementation of EO tools in a culturally appropriate and respectful manner. To achieve this, it advocates for Indigenous peoples to be included in the development of such tools and that protocols are established to enhance Indigenous ecological practices and the stewardship of Indigenous cultural heritage.

We are at an exciting moment for EO. The age of digitalisation is creating new opportunities to increase equitable access to EO data and tools. Collaboration with the GEO Indigenous Alliance will be critical to ensuring that cutting-edge datasets and technologies are accessible and usable by Indigenous communities. This session will feature Indigenous led projects to demonstrate how the GEO Indigenous Alliance is co-developing EO-based tools that integrate Indigenous knowledge systems and cultural values, and the barriers Indigenous communities face in accessing and using EO data.

Session Conveners: Titus Letaapo (GEO Indigenous Alliance, Sarara Foundation/Samburu tribe),  Kriton Glenn (GEO Indigenous Alliance, Geoscience Australia), Diana Mastracci (GEO Indigenous Alliance, GEO Secretariat), James Rattling Leaf Sr. (GEO Indigenous Alliance/Rosebud Sioux Tribe), Mario Vargas Shakaim (GEO Indigenous Alliance, Fenshap/Shuar Indigenous Peoples) 

Chairs: Nikolina Mileva, University of Augsburg, Diana Mastracci, Space4Innovation, GEO Indigenous Alliance, Yelena Finegold, FAO 

  • Diana Mastracci, GEO Indigenous Alliance “Democratizing Earth Observation data for Climate Action: the GEO Indigenous Alliance.”
  • Roxy Williams (Afro-Indigenous from the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua) Space Generation Advisory Council & Nikolina Mileva University of Augsburg “Alsut yawan tasba mainkai kai sika -  Let’s protect our lands together & the “Higher Ground” winning solution, GEO Indigenous FOSS4G Hackathon” 
  • Yelena Finegold, FAO,  “SEPAL, an FAO open source geospatial platform and collaboration with GEO Indigenous Alliance.”
  • Saayio (Titus) Letaapo (Samburu), Sarara Foundation/GEO Indigenous Alliance “The Lopa App: incorporating in situ data with Indigenous knowledge to enable the Samburu tribe to routinely monitor their land, enhancing the community’s adaptation to climate change and improving their disaster preparedness.”
  • Mario Vargas Shakaim (Shuar), Fenshap/GEO Indigenous Alliance, “Shakaim Project: Uniting the wisdom of Indigenous knowledge with cutting edge scientific data for climate mitigation in the Amazon jungle.”


Thursday 26 May 2022

Networking event

Title: GEO Knowledge Hub - A Digital Hub to share Earth Observations based solutions- Learn how to become a Knowledge provider

Room: H-1-02

Chair: Paola de Salvo (GEO Secretariat)

The scope of the GKH is to promote the replicability and re-usability of EO Applications by sharing with the end users, all the Knowledge Resources essential to fully understand and re-use them. All knowledge resources of a registered EO application, will be openly shared, curated and organized into a Knowledge Package.

Networking event

Title: "Towards COP27: Environmental Equity and Indigenous Climate Leadership" 

Time: 12:30pm 

Room: H-1-05

Chair: Diana Mastracci (GEO Indigenous Alliance)

Hosted by the GEO Indigenous Alliance, this networking event will bring together all those involved and interested in Indigenous-led innovation in EO data. The event will provide an opportunity for dialogue between Indigenous communities who are experts in Earth observation (EO) and the LPS community. Following the opening remarks, the GEO Indigenous Alliance will present its indigenous community-led, EO based projects in need of support that address the following interrelated areas: women and youth empowerment, climate adaptation, food security, and disaster risk management.

Opening Remarks: (15 minutes)



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