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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Ghana to host 2022 Group on Earth Observations

Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie

Ghana will host GEO Week 2022, the 18th Annual Meeting of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), from Monday, October 31, to Friday, November 4, 2022, at the Accra International Conference Centre.

Amid mounting environmental challenges and rapid technological advances, the meeting will show 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 our planet. This includes satellite data, as well as in situ data collected on the ground. GEO is a global partnership that works to make these observations openly available around the world.

It also convenes partnerships which produce earth observation-based tools and services to enable better decisions, policies and investments.

Ghana, represented by the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), has been a member of the GEO since 2010 and is honoured to host GEO Week 2022.

The week will feature several high-level speakers, including H.E. Vice President of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who will deliver the keynote address during the Opening Session of the Plenary on Wednesday, November 2, 2022, at 9:00 am.

Remarking on the significance of Ghana hosting GEO Week 2022, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie stated: “As the GEO Principal for Ghana, I see this as an important opportunity, as we also kick start our implementation of the National Space Science Policy.”

GEO Week is designed as an opportunity for knowledge exchange, learning and international collaboration. It comprises the Plenary—decision-making sessions that are only open to GEO delegations— as well as a series of side events and an exhibition.

Topics on the agenda include Operational services for Africa—including the Digital Earth Africa Initiative—nature-based solutions, National Adaptation Plans and GEO’s Post2025 Strategy.

The side events include an industry track which will focus on public-private partnerships, and a youth track, which provides young people (including students and early career professionals) from around the world with opportunities to share their experiences and connect with private sector companies.

These side events are open to participants working on earth observations and relevant policy areas from youth, academia, civil society, the private sector and other groups, following registration for the event.

Commenting on the upcoming meeting, Yana Gevorgyan, Director of the GEO Secretariat said: “With extreme weather events becoming more frequent, and environmental and societal challenges multiplying, accurate and trusted environmental intelligence is more important than ever. The GEO community has made great strides responding to this demand—opening up access to data and convening partnerships that provide evidence for better decisions. But despite these advances, many countries still do not have access to the right information, at the right time and in the right format. As we meet in Ghana, we must consider new ways of thinking, and partnering, to accelerate global action for local impact.”

GEO Week 2022 is organized by the GEO Secretariat in partnership with a Local Organizing Committee (LOC), comprising the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI); Ghana Statistical Service (GSS); the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UNER), as well as the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute (GSSTI).

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