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  • Earth Observation Takes a Bold Step Forward

    Paper number



    Mr. Marc Denis Everell, Meteorological Service of Canada Environment, Canada



    Building upon a charge from the Group of Eight Industrialized Nations at their June 2003 meeting and the commitments in the World Summit on
    Sustainable Development�s Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, a process is underway to develop a comprehensive, coordinated, and
    sustained Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). Ministers and senior representatives of 47 currently participating nations and
    27 international organizations have guided this development through Earth Observation Summits hosted by the United States (July 2003) and
    Japan (April 2004) and an ad hoc Group on Earth Observations (GEO) that has met four times and will meet again in Ottawa in late November.
    The Tokyo Summit adopted a Framework Document and approved the way forward to develop a 10-Year Implementation Plan for GEOSS that
    will be based on user requirements and will integrate and build upon existing space-based and in situ systems. The finalized Implementation
    Plan will be presented for acceptance to ministers at a Third Earth Observation Summit, scheduled for February 2005 in Brussels. The aim
    behind GEOSS is to maximize the effectiveness of Earth observation by minimizing data gaps, building capacity, and exchanging information as
    fully and quickly as possible. Involving both developed and developing nations, GEOSS has the potential to be an invaluable resource for global
    decision makers in helping to improve, for example, weather forecasting, understanding of climate change, and management of natural
    Participants in the interactive, moderated Plenary Event will address the synergies and dynamics of this visionary initiative that promises to
    reorder global Earth observation and enhance its role as instrument for sustainable development.
    Abstract document