UN-GGIM: Europe actively participates in the Fifth Session of the Committee of Experts

UN-GGIM: Europe actively participated in the Fifth Session of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in August 2015.

Many European UN Member states not only participated in the meeting but also actively engaged and intervened throughout the side meetings and agenda items.

UN-GGIM: Europe kicked off the GGIM5 week by running two side meetings on Monday, one on Fundamental Data and the other on INSPIRE/ELF.

The aim of the first side meeting was to demonstrate the importance of fundamental data and highlight progress and the state of play in different regions. UN-GGIM: Europe believes that national and regional examples of fundamental data theme initiatives must be the basis for developing agreement of a set of global fundamental geospatial data themes that can be harmonised to address the needs of the sustainable development agenda.  The regional entity invited presentations from UN-GGIM: Europe Working Group A on Core Data, UNECA on fundamental geospatial datasets in Africa, and New Zealand on the Australian and New Zealand Foundation Spatial Data Framework. The side meeting was well attended attracting forty participants from member states, regional entities and international bodies.

By focussing on the INSPIRE directive and the ELF project, the second side meeting aimed to provide a global audience with an overview of how Europe is dealing with the management, sharing and dissemination of harmonised, dependable and seamless geospatial information in a trans-boundary regional context. A presentation from the European Commission provided the context of INSPIRE as a legal framework for geospatial cooperation within Europe, this was followed by a presentation from Slovenia which showed how the directive is being implemented at a national level. Norway presented the ELF project to the audience, demonstrating how the project is realising INSPIRE at a regional level while Belgium spoke about the impact of ELF at the national level. The meeting attracted 45 attendees who participated in a lively discussion.

During the 5th Session of the Committee of Experts many European UN Member States presented agenda items for the consideration of the Committee. Denmark introduced the geospatial activities related to sustainable development and the post-2015 development agenda; the Netherlands brought forward to the Committee the application of geospatial information related to land administration and management; while Spain reported on the trends in national institutional arrangements in geospatial information management identified by Global Working Group.

Sweden presented its report on fundamental data and on behalf of UN-GGIM: Europe propsed to the Committee of Experts to review globally available resources in SDI development. In this UN-GGIM: Europe proposes to liaise with the other Regional Committees of UN-GGIM to bring together information on the consideration of fundamental geospatial data themes and to lead discussions between interested Member States and Observers in order to develop agreement of a minimum set of global fundamental geospatial data themes required to address the needs of the sustainable development agenda. This proposal was well received by the Committee and supported by many Member States.

More information about the side meetings, reports and outputs from the 5th Session of the Committee of Experts can be found at the UN-GGIM web site: http://ggim.un.org/ and the recordings of the sessions can be found at this link: webtv.un.org