Thursday, 26 November 2009

Access to Data and Information on Biodiversity, Forest Carbon and Other Global Issues

17-18 November. Washington. The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) held its annual Plenary meeting. Some 80 nations, the European Commission and 56 international organizations are coordinating their Earth observation assets and strategies through GEO. They are sharing and interlinking their systems for tracking global trends in carbon levels, climate change, biodiversity loss, deforestation, water resources, ocean temperatures and other critical indicators of planetary health and human well-being. GEO is co-chaired by China, the European Commission (EC), South Africa and the United States.

Many of the information systems and services under review at the Plenary analyze Earth observation data gathered by satellites and by in-situ instruments, such as ocean buoys, carbon flux towers, rain and discharge gauges, cameras and sonar. Two of the examples being presented at the Plenary and exhibition are:
  • Forest Carbon Tracking - By integrating field observations with radar and optical images provided by space agencies (including NASA, USGS, JAXA, CSA, ESA, DLR, ASI, INPE, GISTDA and CRESDA), the GEO Forest Carbon Tracking task is estimating trends in the spatial extent and carbon content of the world's forests. Participants in the task can share images, photos, in-situ data, models as well as results via an on-line platform contributed by Google Earth Outreach (visit after 10h30 a.m.).
  • The GEO Biodiversity Observation Network - Some 100 organizations are collaborating through GEO BON to bring together their biodiversity data, information and forecasts and make them more readily accessible to policymakers, managers, experts and other users.
The "GEO Portal" for searching integrated data sets and presenting targeted information products to decision makers will also feature in Washington. Two leading information technology companies, ESRI and Compusult, and two international agencies, the European Space Agency and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, are contributing to this effort.


CEO presse release 19 October 2009 Comprehensive new global monitoring system to track deforestation and forest carbon
PR Newswire Group on Earth Observations Meets in Washington to Strengthen Access to Data and Information on Biodiversity, Forest Carbon and Other Global Issues