SA-GEO is a vehicle to encourage collaboration, data sharing and the operational use of earth observations in South Africa.
The South African Group on Earth Observations (SA-GEO) is a national earth observations forum which aims to mobilise the South African observations communities to advocate the use of Earth observation for societal benefit.
The role of SA-GEO
One of the challenges which face decision makers at all levels, is easy and timely access to current and reliable information in a format that they can use and upon which they can base informed sound decisions.
Earth observations data obtained from satellites, aircraft and surface-based systems and innovatively processed, provide the required decision support information. Modern information and communications technology allows this information to reach decision makers timeously.
It is also recognised that one dataset serves many applications and many datasets provide information for a single decision.
In South Africa these datasets are collected, processed, disseminated and used by a large number of Government departments, state agencies, parastatals, academia, NGOs and private industry.
SA-GEO advocates, promotes and facilitates networking of the wider Earth observations community in South Africa. It is an initiative funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), and hosted at the CSIR.
SA-GEO is a voluntary community of local Earth observations users and suppliers. It is established around self-organising Communities of Practice (CoPs) which are based on but not limited to the nine GEO societal benefit areas. The National Earth Observations and Space Secretariat (NEOSS) is the secretariat to SA-GEO and the CoPs.
- Promoting coordination and integration of existing observations systems.
- Promoting and populating the South African Earth Observation Portal as a user-orientated entry point into South Africa’s Earth observation systems.
- Identifying user needs, gaps in data, meta data and products, and advocating for them to be addressed.
- Exploiting opportunities for synergy and cost-savings between systems, by promoting, amongst other things, interoperability standards for Earth observation information interchange.
- Promoting access (free and open) to Earth observation data.
- Advocating that information needs of users are met, in the form that they require, when they need it and at an affordable cost.
- Advocating for long-term research and development in Earth observation to bridge the gap between science and societal benefit.
- Linking to complementary capabilities in neighbouring countries and coordinating South African participation and inputs in GEO, CEOS, ARMC, GMES-Africa, MESA, TIGER among other bodies.
- Publicising the role of Earth observation systems in sustainable development and the necessity for continued investments.