Earth Observation Summit Endorses 10-Year Implementation Plan Establishing Global System of Systems

February 205: Governments have endorsed a 10-year implementation plan for the development of a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

The Third Earth Observation Summit, which took place on 16 February in Brussels, brought together ministers and representatives of almost 60 governments to discuss and promote the development of a comprehensive system of systems for gathering and distributing data and information on the Earth's systems, including its weather, climate, oceans, atmosphere, water, land, geodynamics, natural resources, ecosystems, and natural and human-induced hazards. The Summit, which was preceded by the Sixth Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Meeting held from 14-15 February, is the third in a series that began in Washington, DC in July 2003. The second Summit held in Tokyo in April 2004 adopted the framework for the implementation plan.

The Brussels Earth Observation Summit adopted three key outcomes: a GEOSS 10-year implementation plan, a resolution, and a communiqué that expresses support for tsunami and multi-hazard warning systems within the context of the GEOSS. The implementation plan outlines the purpose, scope, approaches, operational modalities and governance of GEOSS and the GEO. The resolution endorses the 10-year implementation plan as the basis for its further development and for establishing a GEOSS, and establishes the intergovernmental GEO to ensure implementation of the plan. Participants also agreed to meet before the end of 2007 to assess progress and provide further guidance on implementation, and resolved to conduct a mid-term GEO assessment by 2010. [Earth and Space Week website] [Group on Earth Observations website with links to the outcome documents]