Cooperation crucial for capacity building and sustainable geospatial data management

Cooperation with the private, public and academic sectors is vital for capacity building and sustainable geospatial data management, UN-GGIM Arab States fourth plenary has heard.

Speaking on behalf of UN-GGIM: Europe, executive committee member Tomaž Petek, outlined a range of activities, including institutional arrangements, legal and policy issues. He stressed the importance of awareness raising and capacity building for efficient institutional arrangements, which must define a sustainable cooperation structure for academia, private and public sector participation in geospatial data management.

His comments follow the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)'s adoption of the resolution to strengthen the Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) and the Council’s institutional arrangements on geospatial information management.

Mr Petek was speaking at the fourth plenary meeting of UN-GGIM Arab States which took place from 21 to 23 February 2017 in Doha, Qatar. In addition to presenting the work of UN-GGIM: Europe, he was delighted to chair the session on 'Institutional arrangements, Legal and Policy Issues, Awareness and Capacity Building’ which focused on Working Group 1 of UN-GGIM Arab States.

Delegates identified that cooperation with the UN GGIM academic network was one way to achieve sustainable capacity building. Participants also stressed that coordination of all national spatial data infrastructures, such as data distribution, data policy and legal frameworks, should be discussed and defined at regional level to ensure the equal involvement of all states.

User needs were also identified as vital and examples of legal documents will be provided to the Working Group1 leader for possible future discussion with the other UN-GGIM regional committees.

Members of UN GGIM Arab States regional committee agreed to focus on three key challenges:

·       Possibilities for sustainable funding of institutional and coordination arrangement to achieve data and service interoperability in the region.

·       The need for data dissemination, distribution and exchange in the future, including establishing a metadata repository and activities focused on user needs for data to service sharing.

·       Data policy, including legal frameworks, pricing policy and privacy, intellectual property rights and personal data protection as well as open data initiatives.