The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) has accepted a number of international organisations as new members of its international community, and a major body that is integral to economic activities on the African continent has found its way to this respected table.
GEO officially announced the first commercial entities accepted as GEO Associates at the 48th GEO Executive Committee, which held at Geneva in Switzerland from July 23-24, 2019. In addition to the new GEO Associates, three new Participating Organisations have been added to the more than 100 Participating Organisations already involved in GEO. Participating Organisations are partner organisations that support the vision and mission of GEO to work with countries on the value and usefulness of Earth observations. There are now 132 Participating Organisations involved in GEO’s global Work Programme.
The Economic Community of West African States Commission (ECOWAS Commission) is one of the new Participating Organisations. Others include the Mercator Ocean International and the OpenGeoHub Foundation.
“GEO welcomes our newest Participating Organisations and the very first round of GEO Associates. We look forward to collaborating on issues of critical importance to our planet, using data and evidence from Earth observation activities to support our member governments and the UN system as part of our Engagement Priorities. As GEO expands its already broad and diverse member base, we are encouraged by the efforts, inputs and ambitions of our newest members to help us achieve our mission,” said Gilberto Camara, GEO’s Secretariat Director.
The GEO Associates category was created earlier this year as a way for commercial and non-governmental, not-for-profit and civil society organizations to join as official collaborators of GEO, a global intergovernmental partnership that improves the availability, access and use of Earth observations. GEO supports more than 100 UN Member States to advance access to open Earth observations. GEO offers all countries the opportunity to benefit from collective knowledge, expertise and skills to develop national Earth observations programmes.
The new GEO Associates and Participating Organisations will attend the GEO-XVI Plenary at GEO Week 2019 scheduled to take place in Canberra, Australia from November 2-6, 2019.
Jerry Chiemeke is an editor, writer and mental health advocate. His works have appeared in Bellanaija, True Nollywood Stories, Music In Africa and The Guardian, among others. Jerry is the winner of the 2017 Ken Saro Wiwa Prize for Reviews. He is a Senior Editor at Space in Africa.