Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Summit agrees to improve coordination of global Earth observation


High-level delegates from 30 countries and 22 international organisations agreed at the Earth Observation Summit held last Thursday in Washington to improve cooperation on Earth observation and to remove barriers to the exchange of information between countries and organisations.

ESA already carries out its Earth observation programmes in cooperation with other agencies or countries through mechanisms such as CEOS, the Committee of Earth Observation Satellites and IGOS-P, the Integrated Global Observing Strategy Partnership. Another good example of the way cooperation between space agencies can lead to increased utilisation of EO data is the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters. This provides data, at short notice, to civil protection agencies to help them deal with emergencies.

ESA is an active member of these organisations and also leads, together with the European Commission, Europe’s major contribution to integrated global observation of the Earth - the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative. GMES also involves Eumetsat and European national space agencies in an integrated approach to support European policy.
Important though these initiatives are, what is still lacking is a truly global partnership to encompass all countries, rich and poor, which will allow the transfer and use of Earth observation information by all. Last Thursday’s meeting was an important step in the right direction because it showed that the political will is now there to bring this about.

The declaration issued at the end of the meeting emphasised the need for timely long-term information as the basis for sound decision making; the need to coordinate strategies and systems; to assist developing countries to use and contribute to Earth observation data; and, to foster the exchange and integration of information obtained from the ground, as well as from planes and satellites. The Earth Observation Summit also agreed to prepare a 10-year Implementation Plan to build on existing systems and initiatives. ESA’s delegation to the Summit was led by its Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain.

As a member of the panel on ‘how to identify needs and how to fill the gaps’ ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, José Achache, described how a number of ESA’s Earth Explorer missions such as the SMOS satellite to measure soil, moisture and ocean salinity; Cryosat to measure changes in the Earth’s terrestrial and marine ice fields; and the ADM-Aeolus mission to provide global observations of three-dimensional wind fields, will make a unique contribution to global monitoring. These missions will improve our understanding of the Earth system, but there will remain a need to support long-term continuity of such observations beyond the research stage.

“For its part”, says Achache, “ESA has already demonstrated, through its GMES and Oxygen initiatives, that it is a strong believer in global monitoring and improving access to Earth observation data. It is important that we contribute to the proposed global coordination, while maintaining the independent capacity to make observations in support of European policies in environment and civil security. A strong independent programme is a prerequisite for successful partnership. We support the Summit declaration and will do our part to ensure that it is implemented.”

Work will now proceed with preparing the framework for the 10-year Implementation Plan in time for the next Ministerial Conference to be held in Tokyo before next summer. This will enable the Plan to be presented at the Ministerial Conference to be hosted by the European Union towards the end of 2004.

For further information please contact:

Stephen Briggs
ESA, Head Earth Observation Science
and Applications Department
Tel: +39-06-941-80400

Stephen Briggs | ESA
Further information:

More articles from Interdisciplinary Research:

nachricht Scientists develop new tool for imprinting biochips
09.03.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY

nachricht Combating sulphuric acid corrosion at wastewater plants: Graz scientists develop new solution
23.02.2018 | Technische Universität Graz

All articles from Interdisciplinary Research >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>