Yes, it’s cold up here; it’s been snowing for two days and there’s no talk of ‘accumulations,’ and yes, people just deal with it. It’s wonderful! Despite the cold, though, the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is focusing this Plenary, in the words of GEO Secretariat Director Barbara Ryan, on “GEO Initiatives [that] support global, regional and national development programmes, as well as disaster risk reduction, protection of biodiversity and efforts to mitigate climate change. The GEO-XIII Plenary in St. Petersburg will highlight global collaboration in each of these areas, and showcase GEO's important role in supporting communities in their efforts to help measure and monitor the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Global Agenda.” The agenda also includes discussions on how the commercial sector can be involved in the GEO activities, which is a relatively new idea for that group.
RDA is also making a splash this week at Plenary week side events. During the side event on Monday, on open sharing of data, Kathy Fontaine (RDA Representative to GEO) had the opportunity to talk more about RDA, to present many of RDA’s Outputs, and show the linkages already in place between the two organizations. There was much interest in the Recommendations, and I hope to be spreading the word on all of our Outputs more this week.
The side event was a group event cosponsored by AfriGEOSS, RDA, the GEO Data Sharing Working Group, WMO, and CODATA. Information on the agenda and (eventually) links to presentations is at http://www.earthobservations.org/geo13.php. Initially, each group had wanted its own separate event, but it became clear that combining forces would be beneficial to all. This turned out to be a wonderful idea in that each group has a different focus, and could share their points of view in terms of issues such as the value of open data sharing. Stay tuned for more on this event.
RDA has much to offer GEO participants, both in terms of Recommendations to help to share Earth observations data openly, and in terms of ways to effectively engage the private sector. I look forward to a fruitful week of discussions, and will share observations daily!