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GEO-X Summit Aims to Improve Access to Critical Information on Global Enviroment #GEO2025
January 8, 2014

GEO-X Plenary and Geneva Ministerial Summit
Improving Access to Critical Information on the Global Environment

From January 13 to 17, 2014 Geneva’s CICG center will be the site of a major international conference and exhibit aimed at improving access to critical information on the global environment.  The GEO-X Plenary and Geneva Ministerial Summit brings together experts from 90 governments and nearly 70 organizations and will include an exhibit of cutting edge technology and more than 30 forums and panel discussions, many open to the general public. Topics will include Agriculture and Food Security, Measuring Biodiversity, Disaster Risk Reduction, Cholera Early Warning, Ocean Acidification, UNEP Live!, and Water Security. The summit will be presided over by GEO’s four co-chairs: China, the European Commission, South Africa and the United States. The United States will be represented at GEO-X by a high level multiagency delegation.

For nearly a decade, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) has been driving the interoperability of thou­sands of individual space-based, airborne and in situ Earth observations around the world. Often these separate systems yield just snapshot assessments, leading to critical gaps in scientific understanding. GEO is addressing such gaps by providing easy, open access to organized observations that enable an increasingly integrated view of our changing Earth. Summit participants will look at how the international community can increase the sustainability and quality of observation networks and make the maximum possible volume of data freely accessible.  For sound science to shape sound policy, leaders and other decision-makers require this fuller picture as an indispensable foundation of environmental decision-making.

The following is a partial list of the over 30 events and panel discussions which are open to the interested public. Students and educational groups are encouraged to attend and to visit the exhibition at the CICG which is open to the public from January 13 to 16.

Tuesday, January 14, 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
From Observation to Decision: Swiss Sponsored Biodiversity Day
A demonstration of regional, national and international observation systems and how their data is used to evaluate the status of ecosystems.

Tuesday, January 14, 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m
Visualizing the World’s Food Systems
Learn about dynamic new approaches to manage risk, address market volatility and move towards resilience by strengthening food production capabilities and projections.

Tuesday, January 14, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Global Initiative for Cholera Early Warning
Learn about an emerging Cholera early warning system to mitigate risks and save many lives.

Wednesday, January 15, 12:30 to 2 p.m.
New Achievements of China Earth Observations Technology
The achievements and progress of China earth observations, especially in Chinese Carbon Satellite, data sharing, global environmental monitoring, etc, and the international cooperation on the upper topics in the framework of GEO.

Wednesday, January 15, 12:00 to 2:00 p.m.
Citizens Observatories
CITI-SENSE describes the development of citizen observatories to improve the quality of life in cities and empower the public to contribute to and participate in environmental decision-making.

Thusday, January 16 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
The Silent Storm / Ocean Acidification
Presentation by the United States:
Presentation of the first report on the global economic impact of ocean acidification by the recently established network of 28 countries charged with studying the scientific and practical consequences of this global issue.

Thursday, January 16, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Serving the World Community by keeping the Environment Under Review – UNEP-Live
UNEP will demonstrate how its mandate to keep the environment under review is increasingly facilitated by open data served up by a wide number of institutional arrangements/connections and technical mechanisms, including the GEOSS broker and UNEP-Live platform, EonE/GNoN et al.

Thursday, January 16, 2:20 to 4:30 p.m.
Copernicus today and tomorrow
The European Commission presents recent developments in the six sectors of the European Earth Observation system Copernicus (land monitoring, marine monitoring, atmosphere monitoring, emergency management, security and climate change)

Thursday, January 16, 16:30 – 18:00
High Level Roundtable – “Perspectives on the Value of Earth Observations”
Global leaders share their perspectives on the value and role of Earth Observations data and information in decision-making

  • Bruno Oberle, State Secretary for the Environment for the Swiss Confederation
  • Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP),
  • Professor Philippe Gillet, Acting President of École PolytechniqueFédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
  • Serge Troeber, Chief Underwriting Officer Corporate Solutions, Swiss RE

Moderator: Ms. Karine Siegwart, Vice Director of the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)

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