GEO - lehetséges magyar részvétel a környezeti és egészségügyi hatások területén
Friday, 21 November 2008
USEPA convened a side meeting of environment and health leaders at the GEO-V Plenary in Bucharest, Romania, 21 November 2008. In attendance were individuals from four countries, the European Commission, and the GEO Secretariat. A list of Participants is appended to this report.
The meeting initiated an ad-hoc effort to build an environment and health community within the GEO framework. The format of the meeting was an open, round-table discussion, with a few presentations; USEPA moderated the discussion.
Highlights and Recommendations:
• Participants agreed that the appropriate GEO structure for this ad-hoc effort is a Community of Practice (CoP). This CoP will be inherently focused across many disciplines, unlike most active GEO CoPs. Participants discussed critical issues relevant to environment and health that are well suited to the GEO framework, for example:
- Water as a focus area. Water is crucial to a number of Societal Benefit Areas (SBAs). Both water quality and water availability were discussed as critical concerns, particularly in a changing climate.
- Air Quality. There are a number of established, near-term air quality programs which exemplify the goals of GEOSS, and the air quality community has been quite engaged in the GEO process. Cooperation across political boundaries is very important for progress on air quality.
- Climate Impacts. Environment and health agencies across the globe will be challenged to adapt to the impacts of global change. To most effectively respond, agencies will depend on Earth observations across all disciplines.
These issues can be used to illustrate the value of GEO / GEOSS to the environment and health communities.
• Participants agreed to work over the next year to activate the Environment & Health Community of Practice, focusing on:
- Collaborating across political boundaries to produce compelling examples of the utility of GEOSS for environment and health agencies, focusing on the above issues.
- Participating in a side event at the GEO-VI Plenary, November 2009, Washington, DC, highlighting work which will attract new participants into the CoP.
- Sharing experiences and best practices.
- Assisting and coordinating with appropriate GEO Work Plan Tasks.
• Connections between the GEO and health communities are quite weak at this point. Improving these connections is important for GEOSS and for the environment and health communities.
• Currently, in most GEO member countries, environment and health agencies do not participate in GEO as much as other agencies (e.g., space/satellite and meteorology). To address this, examples need to be developed and highlighted to demonstrate the utility of GEOSS and the GEO process for environment and health decision makers. These examples, ideally, will show the value chain reaching from Earth observation, to end products for decision support, to outcomes and societal benefits. GEOSS engagement is most productive if agencies are involved at both political and technical levels; efforts to involve these agencies in GEO require engagement at both political and technical levels and, ideally, the public.
With the strong participation from meteorology and space/satellite agencies, the GEO community is receptive to feedback from data generating agencies. Environment and health agencies, as well as other ‘data consuming’ agencies that depend on data from others, need to work with the GEO community to ensure that feedback from these downstream stakeholders is also considered.
• Environment and health agencies require Earth observations that serve a number of Societal Benefit Areas (SBAs). Participants agreed to share lessons learned about how to collaborate across agency and discipline boundaries; this is essential for the success of GEOSS, particularly for data consumer agencies that need integrated, synthesized data.
• Giovanni Rum expressed support, on behalf of the GEO Secretariat, for the creation of an Environment and Health Community of Practice and the discussed proposed activities.
• Representatives of the U.S. Embassy, Bucharest, announced that the embassy would convene a meeting of Romanian environment & health leaders.
• To be successful, GEOSS needs to reach beyond governments. Academic and private sector partners must be reached and cultivated as constituents.
• The role and approach of the Community of Practice will take in attacking these problems was discussed. Participants see CoPs as mechanisms to:
- Catalyze parallel efforts, sharing best practices and lessons learned.
- Build community, promoting contacts and training across agency and political boundaries.
- Facilitate training / capacity building.
• Several broad technological trends were identified that could help environment and health agencies with their missions in the near future, including
- Low cost sensors and networking technology could offer environment and health agencies much finer scale information about emerging problems, enabling targeted, early response to problems.
- Similarly, model and forecast techniques are becoming more locally scaled, allowing more effective response to problems such as pollution and heat episodes.
- Satellite datasets allow environmental problems to be studied at global or continental scales, avoiding sampling bias that is often inherent with ambient monitors.
These opportunities also represent significant technical challenges for environment and health agencies; the environment and health CoP will help agencies incorporate these and other technologies into their decision support systems.
Participants, in alphabetical order:
Madelyn Appelbaum NOAA, US
Michael Bender US EPA
Florence Béroud EC, DG Research
Tyra Brown NOAA, US
Peter Colohan Contractor Supporting NOAA, US
Vasile Crăciunescu Romanian Meteorology Admin.
Andrei Diamandi Romanian Met. Admin.
Phil Dickerson US EPA
Gary Foley US EPA
Kenneth Korporal Canada GEO Secretariat
David McCabe AAAS Fellow, US EPA
Stuart Minchin CSIRO, Australia
Ion Nedelcu Bucharest Public Health Authority, Romania
Marina Nicolaescu US Embassy, Romania
Gabor Remetey-Fülöpp Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Assn.
Bernadette Roberts US Embassy, Romania
Giovanni Rum GEO Secretariat
Ion Sandu Romanian Met. Admin.
Andreas Skouloudis JRC, European Commission
Ed Washburn US EPA
Pai-Yei Whung US EPA "