[SDI-Africa] Poor country interests safeguarded in GEOSS
klance_remote at yahoo.com
Sun Dec 9 01:41:40 EST 2007
data politics at play (as some try to maneuver to profit)...
Poor country interests safeguarded in earth observation project
Developing countries narrowly escaped a proposal this week that could have seen them pay high prices for the interpretation of global earth observation data to help them monitor natural disasters and the effects of climate change.
The Global Earth Observation System of Systems (Geoss) is being set up to disseminate data and also help developing countries with interpretation. But the Geoss ministerial summit held on 28 to 30 November in Cape Town, South Africa, heard a proposal to downplay data interpretation in the ministerial declaration.
At a preparatory meeting on 28 November, a proposal from France to remove the part of the ministerial declaration explicitly promising that Geoss provide data interpretation met with near-universal derision. The Brazilian delegate said that the mandate of Geoss goes well beyond simply collecting data. “The societal benefit areas will only be realised by information systems … [not providing them] would frustrate developing countries,” he said.
One senior conference delegate told Research Africa that France, with its considerable data interpretation systems, was jockeying for a business opportunity: selling interpretations to developing countries.
Another official said on 30 November that the issue had been resolved, and that data interpretation remained in the Geoss declaration put forward to ministers.
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