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Your ultimate guide to earth observation data, the industry behind it, and why they are powerful tools against climate mitigation and support societal, economical, and environmental sustainability.
The unequivocal threat
The threat that climate change poses to human well-being and the health of the planet is “unequivocal”, says the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released last week. The increase in earth temperature, the rising sea levels, and the increase of natural disasters are threatening human survival. The climate report utilizes satellite observations and urges accelerated action to adapt to climate change while simultaneously making rapid, deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
Measurements from space are critical to understanding the changing climate and its impacts on societies and economies. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and to protect our oceans, a collection of historical and real-time data provided by earth observation systems allows us to better understand environmental issues.
Earth observation benefits to humanity
The entire value-chain of the geospatial ecosystem is key for climate action. The collective power of industry players provides earth observation data showing the naked truth about the status of our planet, the state of the rainforest, the areas affected by drought, just to name a few.
On the verge of a Fourth Industrial Revolution (driven by Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and the Internet of Things), the geospatial industry is gaining significant momentum. Earth data often act as wake up calls to countries and industries not yet committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and adopting innovative sustainable practices.
These Earth observations can be done by various actors working in silos , but will be effective only with coordinated action. How can this coordination be conducted?
Promoting hyper-partnership in the geospatial industry
The World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC) might sound to some as a science fiction novel or a remake of Star Wars, but is real and active now. The WGIC is a registered not-for-profit trade association of commercial geospatial companies representing the entire value-chain of the geospatial ecosystem – from data providers like mappers and surveyors, to technology providers for hardware and software, to service providers for disaster resilience, energy transition, and sustainable infrastructure.
WGIC works globally on demonstrating the value and relevance of geospatial technologies, integrating Earth observations, advocating for open data policies, and encouraging partnerships to address the major environmental and social issues of our world.
‘The Earth is an integrated system, and we therefore need integrated approaches to solving global problems. ‘Hyper-partnering’ is not easy, it takes a lot of time. It’s much easier to go off by yourself and work in a silo. But we just can no longer afford to do that.”- Barbara Ryan, Executive Director of WGIC.
What a gift. The challenge we have is to tell the world, other industries, academia, partners and the public that we are here to work with them. Everything we need is at our disposal. WGIC is filling the gap in collaborative partnerships and enables coordinated geospatial knowledge exchange to make meaningful progress for our planet and our people. Join us in encouraging partnerships for climate action. The power of the collective starts with all of us.