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International Engagement

Group on Earth Observations (GEO) inaugural Plenary 2003, U.S. Department of State, Washington DC. © GEO Secretariat.

International Engagement and Coordination Activities

The Centre for Earth Observation maintains an active presence and leadership role on key international earth observation coordination bodies on behalf of CSIRO and Australia, such as:

Committee on Earth Observation Satellites

The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) is an international organisation involving 60 agencies operating 156 satellites. Its mission is to ensure international coordination of civil space-based EO programs, and advocacy of the free and open exchange of data, to optimise societal benefit and inform decision making for securing a prosperous and sustainable future for humankind.

CEOS is an international body which coordinates a range of space-based EO capabilities and activities, with participants that develop, operate and support civil EO satellites. The work of CEOS ranges from the development of detailed technical standards for data product exchange, through to the establishment of high-level inter-agency agreements on common data policies for different applications areas.

CSIRO is an active member of CEOS and leads Australia’s engagement in this forum, that includes the widest global membership of civilian government EO satellite agencies.

CSIRO’s present and future roles include:

  • Vice Chair (2017-2019) and Chair (2019-2021) of the Strategic Implementation Team (SIT): The objectives of the SIT Chair focus on strategic guidance with regard to governance, stakeholders, and the accomplishment of Virtual Constellation and Working Group deliverables.
  • Chair (2018-2020) of the Working Group on Calibration & Validation (WGCV): The objective of the WGCV is to ensure long-term confidence in the accuracy and quality of EO data and products and to provide a forum for the exchange of information about calibration and validation, including the coordination of cooperative activities.
  • Vice Chair (2017-2019) and Chair (2019-2021) of the Working Group on Information Systems and Services (WGISS): The activities and expertise of WGISS span the full range of the information life cycle from the requirements and metadata definition for the initial ingestion of satellite data into archives through to the incorporation of derived information into end-user applications.
  • Co-Lead of the Ad Hoc Team on Sustainable Development Goals (AHT-SDG): The AHT-SDG works to connect satellite EO with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and contributed to the Earth Observations in Support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development report.

Group on Earth Observations

The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is an intergovernmental organisation working to improve the availability, access and use of EO for the benefit of society. GEO works to actively improve and coordinate global EO systems and promote broad, open data sharing. GEO’s global priorities include supporting the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Climate Agreement, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

GEO consists of 105 member countries and 127 participating organisations. CSIRO is a member of the Australian government delegation together with Geoscience Australia and the Bureau of Meteorology. Geoscience Australia currently leads Australia’s engagement in this forum and is GEO Executive Committee member for 2018.  As vice-Chair of CEOS SIT, CSIRO is also a member on the GEO Executive Committee, as well as a member of the GEOGLAM Advisory Committee .