In its role as a leader in the marine community, POGO established Oceans United, an informal grouping of organisations in the oceanographic arena, and frequently acts as spokesman on its behalf. POGO is working towards a global vision of ocean observation, jointly with other members of Oceans United within the umbrella of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO).
What is GEO?
GEO was launched in response to calls for action by the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development and by the G8 (Group of Eight) leading industrialized countries. These high-level meetings recognized that international collaboration is essential for exploiting the growing potential of Earth Observations to support decision making in an increasingly complex and environmentally stressed world.
GEO is a voluntary partnership of governments and international organizations. It provides a framework within which these partners can develop new projects and coordinate their strategies and investments. As of June 2010, GEO’s Members include 81 Governments and the European Commission. In addition, 58 intergovernmental, international, and regional organizations with a mandate in Earth Observation or related issues, including POGO, have been recognized as Participating Organizations.
GEO is coordinating efforts to build a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), on the basis of a 10-Year Implementation Plan (see below) for the period 2005 to 2015. The Plan defines a vision statement for GEOSS, its purpose and scope, expected benefits, and the nine “Societal Benefit Areas” (natural disasters, human health and well being, energy resources, changing climate, water resources, marine ecosystems, marine biodiversity, fisheries and agriculture).
POGO participated in the GEO Ministerial Summits in Cape Town in November 2007, in Beijing in November 2010, and in Geneva in January 2014. POGO also contributes in various other ways to the activities of GEO, such as in capacity building. For the most recent summit, the GEO Task Oceans and Society: Blue Planet was featured in a showcase video shown to the Ministers. It was also available to delegates throughout the Plenary meeting in the exhibition area.
Also, Blue Planet hosted a joint side event in collaboration with the European Commission entitled “Towards an Integrated Atlantic Ocean Observation System aided by GEO’s Blue Planet Initiative”, which was very well attended. The agenda consisted of a series of short talks followed by a panel discussion. Speakers included senior figures from the European Commission, the European Space Agency and representatives of major observing programmes in Europe and North America.
Click here to read more about the Summits and download material that was presented, media coverage and documents produced by GEO.
POGO also helped to fund the meeting at which the Latin-American network of bio-optical oceanographers called Antares was born and led subsequently to the formation of a global-scale analogue, ChloroGIN, now an important element of GEO.