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Group 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 organizations participated. 

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 development. 

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


(from left 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)


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