[CODATA-international] EO and the World's Indigenous Peoples

Suchith Anand Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk
Sat Aug 24 19:07:37 EDT 2019

Dear colleagues,

It is sad to read the news of the fires in the Amazon rainforest. It has serious implications for people who call the basin home and for the millions of species of plants and animals that live there. The Amazon rainforest is one of the world's greatest, natural assets when it comes to tackling the problem of climate change.

If you are attending GEO Week 2019 [1], please consider attending this session on EO and the World's Indigenous Peoples and contribute your ideas. I suggest that we add an agenda item in the GeoForAll meeting  on 28th August in  Bucharest and invite colleagues to contribute ideas on how we can support this session and the  GEO Week 2019 Hackathon,  an innovative hackathon to advance the use of Earth observation (EO) data by and for youth in indigenous communities [2].

The GEO week 2019 Session details below


EO and the World's Indigenous Peoples

Traditional indigenous groups represent 370 million people globally and indigenous territories cover almost 30% of Earth’s terrestrial surface and overlap with 80 percent of the planet’s biodiversity. Indigenous peoples are often the most effective sustainable land managers, yet indigenous communities often lack access to resources and technologies that can help secure their land rights and monitor threats to their territories from outside interests. In this session, indigenous peoples’ representatives from 5 continents will discuss how they leverage Earth Observation data and tools to promote their rights and sustainably manage their lands. We anticipate the GEO community will benefit from the insight and knowledge of First Nations /Indigenous Peoples and gain valuable perspective on how we might collectively achieve our sustainable development goals.

Indigenous peoples are key stakeholders in achieving global sustainability and, therefore, should equally benefit from using geospatial data and tools to inform land management decisions. While GEO’s principles state that all individuals from public authorities to citizens should have equal rights to information that concern environmental decisions, to date, the larger earth observation community has recognized that coordinated strategies and further work is needed to further democratize geospatial data with indigenous communities. This event is intended to open a dialogue with the GEO community and discuss options for a larger EO4IM community to help achieve enhanced technical capacities of Indigenous Peoples via the GEO umbrella.


Government of Australia, Conservation International, NASA Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin (COICA), GEO EO Citizen Science Community Activity

Details at https://www.earthobservations.org/geoweek19.php?t=side_events

I thank GEO and the organisers for this session and I will do my best to support this session. I request GeoForAll colleagues to include this as an agenda item for the GeoForAll meeting [3]  and share your ideas and support this session.

Best wishes,


[1] https://www.earthobservations.org/geoweek19.php?t=side_events

[2] https://www.osgeo.org/foundation-news/international-day-of-the-worlds-indigenous-peoples/

[3] https://www.osgeo.org/foundation-news/invitation-to-geoforall-2/

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