Switzerland has a proven record in its strong commitment to environmental policy at national and international level. GEO (and its Global Earth Observation System of Systems GEOSS), while relying on high-quality national environmental monitoring systems, provides an important contribution to the identification, documentation and monitoring of such environmental objectives at the global level. Therefore, Switzerland is a full member of GEO and has actively participated in the establishment of GEO in Geneva and in the development of GEOSS.
Established in 2005, GEO is a voluntary partnership of governments and organizations that envisions “a future wherein decisions and actions for the benefit of humankind are informed by coordinated, comprehensive and sustained Earth observations and information.” GEO Member governments include 104 nations and the European Commission, and 114 Participating Organizations comprised of international bodies with a mandate in Earth observations.
Together, the GEO community is creating a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) that will link Earth observation resources world-wide across multiple Societal Benefit Areas – agriculture, biodiversity, climate, disasters, ecosystems, energy, health, water and weather – and make those resources available for better informed decision-making. Finally, the GEOSS will provide decision-support tools to a wide variety of users and will be a global and flexible network of content providers allowing decision makers to access a wide range of high-quality information. It will proactively link together existing and planned observing systems around the world and support the development of new systems where gaps currently exist.
About GEO in Switzerland
Within the Swiss federal administration, the FOEN represents the role of “Principal” for GEO, followed by the MeteoSwiss acting as “Alternate Principal” in collaboration with further relevant federal Departments, namely the FDFA. The FOEN is in charge of the national coordination and acts as the Swiss Focal Point for GEO. The national GEO coordination group consists of representatives from the federal administration as well as research institutions.
Hosting the GEO Secretariat, Switzerland supports GEO financially in terms of providing infrastructure and personnel. Since the establishment of GEO the Secretariat has been based in Geneva under the auspices of WMO. As a member of GEO, Switzerland intends to increase its contribution particularly in the fields of monitoring and data management in close collaboration with the national academic institutions, particularly in the areas of disaster risk, climate, the water and biodiversity. Priority is given to a coherent and effective harmonization of national and international activities related to environmental monitoring technologies. To this end, GEOSS offers significant potential for integrated assessment and modeling (i.e. in the areas of biodiversity, ecosystems and forests).
Swiss GEO contributions
Last modification 18.12.2018