International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE) Joins Group on Earth Observations (GEO)

Dr. José Achache, secretary general of Group on Earth Observations (GEO) declared the International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE) and the International Union of Geological Science (IUGS) to be new members of GEO at the 6th plenary session of GEO held on Nov 17-18, 2009 in Washington. Thus, GEO now has 83 member countries (including EU) and 58 international organizations.

The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is an inter-governmental organization that aims to know about the Earth. Task force for International Earth Observation was created at the 1st Earth Observation Summit on Jul 31st, 2003 in Washington, the United States. The implementation plan for Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) was approved at the 3rd summit in Brussels in Feb 2005; besides, the earth observation organization was officially founded responsible for coordination of all GEOSS activities. GEOSS advocates the establishment of comprehensive, coordinative and sustainable global earth observation system of systems to achieve better cognition of the earth system, including the weather, climate, ocean, atmosphere, waters, land, geodynamics, natural resources and ecosystem as well as natural and man-made disasters, and explicitly points out 9 fields that will benefit from activities of GEOSS.

Meeting site

In view of GEO’s international position and power, a large number of international organizations are submitting applications for membership of GEO. At the meeting of GEO executive committee, the applications from 7 organizations are reviewed and ISDE application is recommended by GEO executive committee to the meeting and is adopted unanimously. ISDE’s accession to GEO will further better development of global earth observation system of systems, improve cooperation and exchange between international organizations and prepare a broader international stage for future development of ISDE. Dr. José Achache, secretary general of Group on Earth Observations (GEO), gave a plenary lecture with the topic of Global Earth Observation System of Systems: an Operable Digital Earth at the 6th International Symposium on Digital Earth held on Sep 9th.

About 500 representatives from all member countries and international organization attended this meeting. 17 issues and 28 documents are addressed and implemented on an individual basis; some important issues concerning progress and main points of GEOSS, preparations for GEO ministerial summit 2010, strategic objectives, monitoring and evaluation of GEOSS and annual updating of work plan during 2009 and 2011 are discussed and prepared. During the meeting, the exhibition of the 6th GEO plenary session was held, highlighting the contributions to realization of GEOSS by all member countries and organizations present at the meeting. ZHENG Guoguang, GEO cochairman, GEO chief representative of China and director of China Meteorological Administration, heading a delegation composed of members from Ministry of Science and Technology, National Defense Technology Industry Bureau, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China Seismology Bureau and China Meteorological Administration, and GUO Huadong, as an official representative of Chinese delegation, attended the meeting. During the meeting, Chinese delegation visited the exhibition of the 6th GEO plenary session and held GEO China Exhibit where the Center for Earth Observation and Digital Earth Science of Chinese Academy of Sciences is the key exhibiter who reveals its competency and achievements in the field of earth observation and digital earth.