GEO Blue Planet Kick-off Symposium

A kick-off symposium for the new GEO marine Task SB-01 “Oceans and Society: the Blue Planet” was held in Ilhabela, São Paulo State, Brazil, from November 19 to 21, 2012. The symposium was co-sponsored by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), GEO, INPE and POGO and took place just prior to the GEO-IX Plenary, held in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil (November 22 and 23, 2012).


The objectives of the Blue Planet symposium were to:

  • Learn about the various relevant on-going activities;
  • Coordinate better the ocean-related tasks within GEO;
  • Speak with a collective voice to GEO member nations and participating organisations;
  • Raise awareness of societal benefits of ocean observations to the broader community, targeting in particular policy makers and funding agencies;
  • Seek new avenues for enhancing implementation of ocean observation systems; and
  • Promote capacity building globally, especially in developing countries.

The symposium brought together a total of 68 participants from 24 countries, comprising leaders and representatives of various international organisations and networks (including the new GEO Director, Dr Barbara Ryan), research scientists and postdoctoral and graduate students. The symposium offered the opportunity for participants to become familiar with the full scope of the Blue Planet Task, and helped to develop synergies and to plan future activities. The meeting turned out to be a landmark event in the development of marine work within GEO.

Download agenda here

Download book of abstracts here