on Earth Observations (GEO)
The intergovernmental Group
on Earth Observations (GEO) held its first meeting (GEO-I)
at WMO Headquarters on 3 and 4 May. Some 200 government
representatives of 60 nations and the European Commission
and more than 40 international and intergovernmental
The GEO Secretariat has
been established as an independent intergovernmental body to
oversee the fulfilment of a 10-year implementation plan to
create a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).
It is being set up at WMO Headquarters and was formally
inaugurated on 4 May.
GEO-I delegates elected an
Executive Committee to oversee the administrative workings
of GEO. It will consist of 12 Members representing
developing and developed countries and various regions of
the world as follows: Brazil, Germany, Honduras, Italy, Japan, Morocco, the
Russian Federation, Thailand, including the four Co-chairs
(European Commission, China, South Africa and USA).
The benefits of GEOSS will
range from disaster prevention, climate monitoring and
environmental preservation to improved socio-economic
WMO will be fully involved
in the planning and implementation of GEOSS and will
encourage National Meteorological and Hydrological Services
to participate so that they may take full advantage.
For more information, see http://earthobservations.org/
to right): Vice-Admiral C. Lautenbacher (USA), HE Ambassador
Jurg Streuli (Switzerland),
Dr Rob Adam (South Africa), Michel Jarraud (WMO
Secretary-General), Tetsuhisa Shirakawa (Japan), Dr Achilleas
Mitsos (European Commission)