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Human Planet Initiative

Who we are

The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is a voluntary partnership of governments and organisations that envisions "a future wherein decisions and actions for the benefit of humankind are informed by coordinated, comprehensive and sustained Earth observations and information".

The Human Planet Initiative

The Human Planet is a new initiative in the GEO 2017-2019 work programme supporting the GEO Strategic Plan 2016-2025. The Human Planet aims to support novel evidence-based assessment of the human presence on the planet Earth. The Human Planet leverages on advances of Earth Observation technologies and geo-spatial data analytics for improving the global awareness on the spatial patterns and processes of the today’s urbanizing world.

New open, inclusive and consistent data are needed for assessing humanity’s impact on the planet, access to resources, and exposure to risk. New knowledge is needed in order to translate these new data into actionable information to support decision making by governments, organizations and individuals.

The Human Planet Initiative involves more than 150 individual scientists and policy makers belonging to 85 different organisations including academies, international stakeholders, governmental bodies and the private sector.

A number of expert groups has been established to address specific thematic areas of the Human Planet.

The Human Planet Forum

The Human Planet Forum is the bi-annual meeting of the initiative to discuss and showcase the achievements and identify future challenges.
The partners of the Human Planet Initiative gathered for the first Human Planet Forum in September 2017 in Enschede, the Netherlands. The conference hosted by the University of Twente achieved three objectives:

  • to showcase the work done so far
  • to seek additional support and enlarge the partnership
  • to consolidate the governance and the future action plan of the partnership

Participants exchanged best practices to support the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, discussed the expert groups, and confirmed the steering committee.

The next Forum will take place in 2019.

The steering committee includes representatives of institutions involved in the post-2015 development frameworks, key experts of the Human Planet invited by members of the steering committee, and the chairs of the Human Planet expert groups. The steering committee will review the Atlas contents and will vote the key messages delivered in the Human Planet outreach activities: typically, the yearly releases of the "Atlas of the Human Planet".