10th GEO Plenary Session and 2014 Ministerial Summit
Geneva, 13-17 January 2014

International Conference Centre in Geneva

The Summit took place at the International Conference Centre in Geneva (above). The event was attended by various Oceans United members, including the Executive Secretary of IOC, Wendy Watson-Wright, members of the GOOS Secretariat (Albert Fischer and Sarah Grimes), members of the POGO Secretariat (Trevor Platt and Vikki Cheung), and representatives of JCOMM (Boram Lee) and CEOS (Mark Dowell), among others.

During the Plenary, the proposal for preparation of the next GEOSS Implementation Plan and the draft Geneva Declaration were discussed. POGO leads the GEO Oceans Task, Oceans and Society: Blue Planet, which aims to integrate and coordinate all the marine initiatives in GEO. This Task cross-cuts the nine societal benefit areas defined by GEO (agriculture, biodiversity, climate, disasters, ecosystems, energy, health, water and weather).

Following the GEO-X Plenary, at the Ministerial Summit, GEO received unanimous endorsement to “unleash the power of open data for a second decade”. There was agreement to continue building on the organisation’s first 10 years of pioneering environmental advances which are designed to improve the quality of life of people everywhere, beyond the current mandate which runs until 2015. Fuelled by open data, GEO’s efforts are now evident in most regions of the world.
GEO is comprised of 90 member nations, the
European Commission and 77 Participating Organizations, including POGO, GOOS and CEOS.

Blue Planet was featured in a showcase video shown to the Ministers. It was also available to delegates throughout the Plenary meeting in the exhibition area.
Also, Blue Planet hosted a joint side event in collaboration with the European Commission entitled “Towards an Integrated Atlantic Ocean Observation System aided by GEO’s Blue Planet Initiative”, which was very well attended. The agenda consisted of a series of short talks followed by a panel discussion. Speakers included senior figures from the European Commission, the European Space Agency and representatives of major observing programmes in Europe and North America.
During the entire Plenary and Ministerial, interest in the Blue Planet Task was evident from the numerous endorsements made by delegates in their formal statements, including representatives from various member nations and representatives of major intergovernmental and international organizations.