On March 26th, 2016, we released our new 3-year work plan, covering the period 2016-2018. The 2016-2018 CEOS Work Plan describes what we, through the efforts of our 33 space agency Members and 28 Associates, will deliver over the next three years to enhance the availability and use of satellite Earth observations.
Our 2016 CEOS Chair Representative, Dr. Alex Held from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), said:
Our 2016-2018 Work Plan includes new activities that address topics of global significance. We want to see satellite data used to inform the big decisions and discussions.
We will work to implement the recently endorsed CEOS Strategy for Water Observations from Space, a comprehensive plan to observe Earth’s water resources. We will also step up our efforts to support the Sustainable Development Agenda and help countries to more specifically apply satellite data to their disaster risk management efforts under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Dr. Held added:
Two 2016 CEOS Chair Initiatives will also see us work together to embrace the new opportunities arising from “big data” technologies and next-generation geostationary satellites, like Japan’s recently launched Himawari-8. I am also excited by our efforts to work with countries, starting with Kenya and Colombia, to deliver new Data Cube technology that will significantly lower the technical barriers to applying very large volumes of satellite data to real-world challenges.
The 2016-2018 Work Plan also maintains our strong commitments to existing global initiatives. Our CEOS Strategic Implementation Team (SIT) Chair, Professor Stephen Briggs of the European Space Agency (ESA), noted:
We will continue to work with the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) to serve the needs of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in line with the outcomes of the Paris Climate Agreement that resulted from the successful COP-21 summit hosted by the Government of France.
We will also continue our strong support to the Group on Earth Observationsw (GEO) in many aspects of our work programme, but particularly through the Global Forest Observations Initiative (GFOI), which helps countries monitor forest stocks in the frame of UN REDD+, the GEO Global Agricultural Monitoring Initiative (GEOGLAM), which aims to provide data to reduce volatility in food prices by monitoring crops, and through the overall CEOS Carbon Observing Strategy.