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About GEO and GEOSS

"The purpose of GEOSS [Global Earth Observation System of Systems] is to achieve comprehensive, coordinated and sustained observations of the Earth system, in order to improve monitoring of the state of the Earth, increase understanding of Earth processes, and enhance prediction of the behavior of the Earth system. GEOSS will meet the need for timely, quality long-term global information as a basis for sound decision making, and will enhance delivery of benefits to society." as excerpted from the GEOSS 10-Year Implementation Plan


The Group on Earth Observations (GEO), made up of almost 80 countries and over 50 international organizations have agreed to develop the GEOSS.

GEO was launched in response to calls for action by the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development and by the G8 (Group of Eight) leading industrialized countries. These high-level meetings recognized that international collaboration is essential for exploiting the growing potential of Earth observations to support decision making in an increasingly complex and environmentally stressed world.

GEO is a voluntary partnership of governments and international organizations. It provides a framework within which these partners can develop new projects and coordinate their strategies and investments. As of October 2008, GEO’s Members include 76 Governments and the European Commission. In addition, 51 intergovernmental, international, and regional organizations with a mandate in Earth observation or related issues have been recognized as Participating Organizations.

GEO is constructing GEOSS on the basis of a 10-Year Implementation Plan for the period 2005 to 2015. The Plan defines a vision statement for GEOSS, its purpose and scope, expected benefits, and the nine "Societal Benefit Areas" of disasters, health, energy, climate, water, weather, ecosystems, agriculture and biodiversity.

Societal Benefits

GEOSS will yield a broad range of societal benefits, notably:

- Reducing loss of life and property from natural and human-induced disasters;

- Understanding environmental factors affecting human health and well-being,

- Improving the management of energy resources,

- Understanding, assessing, predicting, mitigating, and adapting to climate variability and change,

- Improving water resource management through better understanding of the water cycle,

- Improving weather information, forecasting and warning,

- Improving the management and protection of terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems,

- Supporting sustainable agriculture and combating desertification, and

- Understanding, monitoring and conserving biodiversity.



Visit the GEO Website: www.earthobservations.org

GEONETCast Americas is a contribution from the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration whose goal is to enable enhanced dissemination, application, and exploitation of environmental data and products for the diverse societal benefits defined by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), including agriculture, energy, health, climate, weather, disaster mitigation, biodiversity, water resources, and ecosystems.

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Last Updated 2008-Jul-21
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