GEO Week 2021 at a glance

GEO Week 2021

Daniel Juhn, Vice President from Conservation International is our moderator for the session on nature based solutions, he provides a short overview of the session here and invites you to join us.

Elizabeth Mrema, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity highlights global issues and how Earth observations can play a role. She will explain this further during her keynote talk in our session on nature based solutions.

Our moderator Sean De Cleene from the World Economic Forum explains GEO’s work with them and how integration across the GEO work programme supports our vision and mission.


Our keynote speaker Peter Thomson outlines the importance of his work on the ocean and his role in GEO Week 2021.

NOAA Administrator, Rick Spinrad, explains the urgency around climate action and his role in GEO Week 2021.

Youth Track speakers and moderators explain their role in GEO Week 2021.

What was on during GEO Week 2021?

This year is one of the most important with major milestones linked to global policy agendas. There is the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, there is also the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration. These all bring a new set of challenges and opportunities for the international EO community.

During GEO Week 2021, we presented the many activities of the GEO work programme that address these areas. Notably through the lens of nexus thinking to highlight how the use of EO in different sectors contributes to these efforts and why integration across thematic areas is essential.

GEO-17 Plenary

The GEO-17 Plenary Sessions were held 23-26 November. The timing of sessions is shown below in the Week at Glance.






Plenary sessions were broadcasted live and the session recordings will soon be available on the full schedule page.

Anchor Sessions and Side Events

These virtual, interactive events took place throughout the week and aimed to address the various aspects of the GEO work programme, as well as the nexus possibilities across activities. Recordings of the sessions will soon be available on the full schedule page.


Member statements can be access here.

Session Descriptions

Opening Session: All attendees were provided with an overview of all planned activities, including welcome speeches and a keynote speech to set the tone for the week.

Plenary Sessions: Under the banner of Accelerating Action in GEO, a series of sessions looked at the GEO work programme, in particular progress on the GEO engagement priorities and the activities of the GEO working groups.

Anchor Sessions: These were the main events designed by GEO Week 2021 organizing team to explain the multidisciplinary nature of GEO through the concept of nexus thinking. Working on multiple topics simultaneously is essential in today's rapidly changing environmental and social conditions. For example, work in one area will have a knock-on effect or impact in another area, including synergies and trade-offs. These events are linked to the global policy agendas that underpin most of the GEO community’s work.

Side Events: These highlighted the activities of the GEO community engaged in the GEO work programme, including progress since the last meetings and plans for the upcoming period. Each session lasted 50 minutes.

Virtual Networking: Breaks between sessions provided an opportunity for attendees to meet and discuss GEO Week topics. This networking took place in a dedicated room.