Ghana is set to host the 18th annual general meeting of the Group on Earth.
The observation (GEO WEEK 2022) is under the theme; “Global Action for Local Impact.”
The week-long event, to be held at the Accra International Conference Centre from Monday, October 31, 2022 to Friday, November 4,2022, is expected to be opened by the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
The over 1000 participants who have served notices to attend include Earth Observationists, policy makers, scientists, researchers, industrialists, academia, civil society organisations and governments of member countries, amidst mounting environmental challenges and rapid technological advances confronting the world.
The meeting will also showcase how global partnerships are accelerating the use of earth observations to inform better local decisions on issues such as climate adaptation and food and water security.
Earth observations are data and information collected about the planet which include satellite data, as well as institutional data, collected on the ground with focus on public-private partnerships.
Topics to be discussed include operational services for Africa, the Digital, Earth Africa Initiative, nature-based solutions, national adaptation plans and GEO’s Post 2025 Strategy.
The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Kwaku Afriyie, speaking at the launch, said the country was lucky to host the event as it starts its “National Space Science Policy”.
He said the time had come to work together to find innovative solutions to the multiple challenges towards building resilient economies, fast food, water systems, and ensuring the sustainable management of forest resources and biodiversity.
The Minister expressed optimism that the meeting would foster partnerships based on open data and the best available science to support better decision-making to accelerate global collaboration using earth observations as evidence for local impact in Africa and around the world.
Dr Afriyie said the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063, the continent’s blueprint, sought to transform Africa through inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development which encompasses the African Outer Space Programme and African Space Policy and Strategy that reinforce the continent’s vision to be a consumer in the global space arena and become a producer and regulator of space products.
“Through these initiatives, the AU is working to address the growing needs of African countries to harness space technologies and services, including earth observations, to drive policies and decisions to attain the agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” He added.
The Co- chair of the local organising committee, Professor Amos Kabo-bah, said the GEO Week was designed as an opportunity for knowledge exchange, learning and partnerships, and a youth track, which provides young people (including students and early career professionals) from around the world the opportunities to share their experiences and connect with private sector companies.
The GEO Secretariat Director, Ms Yana Gevorgyan, said “With extreme weather events becoming more frequent, and environmental and societal challenges multiplying, accurate and trusted environmental inputs are important than ever”.
BY LAWRENCE VOMAFA-AKPALU