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Logo Third Earth Observation Summit
Earth from space at night © EC
16 February 2005

Building a global Earth Observation System to revolutionise our understanding of the planet
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Arrow  On 16 February 2005, representatives of more than 50 world governments will meet in Brussels at the Third Earth Observation (EO) Summit, to discuss and promote the development of a comprehensive Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

Producing better information on the environment has become a top priority around the world, and that is what Earth Observation (EO) is all about. Building a GEOSS means bringing together numerous EO sources and datasets and creating a sustainable network for the distribution of data and information products and services.

Environmental monitoring is currently carried out by a variety of more or less disconnected systems. These include a strong space-based component - with satellite remote sensing providing an important part of today’s environmental data - as well as ground-based, air-based and ocean-based in situ EO monitoring systems.

The Brussels EO Summit is the third in a series, following the Tokyo Summit of April 2004 and the Washington EO Summit in July 2003. The overall goal of the EO Summits is to improve coordination of EO strategies and research at a global level.

At the Third EO Summit in Brussels, ministers from around the world are expected to endorse a much-anticipated 10-year Implementation Plan for the creation of GEOSS.

The EO Summit takes place within the context of Earth & Space Week, a major EU-ESA sponsored event comprising nine days of public exhibitions and activities, showcasing EO and Space. The Summit will be followed by an International Conference on co-operation in Space called ‘Winning through co-operation: sharing the benefits of space’, to take place on 17-18 February 2005.

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