Brussels, 08 Aug 2003
The Earth Observation Summit that took place in Washington on 31 July has resulted in a declaration to improve global cooperation on Earth monitoring and a commitment to draw up a ten year implementation plan to build on existing systems and initiatives.
Whilst acknowledging the importance of global initiatives such as the Commission and European Space Agency (ESA) led global monitoring for environment and security (GMES), delegates from 30 countries and 22 international organisations agreed that truly global partnerships encompassing all countries, rich and poor, are still lacking.
A declaration issued at the close of the conference emphasised the need for long term information as the basis for sound decision making; the need to coordinate strategies and assist developing countries to use and contribute to Earth observation data; and to foster the exchange of information obtained from the ground, as well as from planes and satellites.
ESA's Director of Earth observation programmes, José Achache, said: 'For its part, ESA has already demonstrated through its [own] initiatives that it is a strong believer in global monitoring and improving access to Earth observation data. It is important that we contribute to the proposed global coordination, while maintaining the independent capacity to make observations in support of European policies.'
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