Brussels, 08 Aug 2003
International organizations such as the World Bank and the World Meteorological Organization will play a key role in the creation of a comprehensive global observing system to address environmental and economic concerns, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
In a press release issued August 7, NOAA Administrator Conrad Lautenbacher said ministers attending the Earth Observation Summit in Washington, D.C. July 31 adopted principles for developing a coordinated system that would link satellite, aircraft and land-based data collection efforts around the globe to "take the pulse of planet Earth."
Lautenbacher said the summit was followed by the first meeting of the ad hoc Group on Earth Observations, which made "considerable progress in taking the initial steps toward organizing and structuring a working intergovernmental body to meet the goals outlined during the summit."
According to the release, the working group also formed sub-groups in areas such as international cooperation, architecture, capacity-building and data utilization. It was also determined that international organizations will play a key role in the work of the sub-groups, since those organizations have been instrumental in the development and maintenance of existing observation systems "that will serve as the backbone for a future global network."
The intergovernmental working group will hold its next meeting November 28-29 in Baveno, Italy to prepare the framework for a 10-year implementation plan for the Earth observation system. The plan will be presented at the next ministerial meeting scheduled to take place in Tokyo in early 2004.