Eye on Earth Summit Concludes with Commitments on Biodiversity, Oceans and Water Security

11 March 2013: The first Eye on Earth User Conference, organized by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in association with the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU, convened in Dublin, Ireland, from 4-6 March 2013. The Conference explored ideas for sharing social, environmental and economic information across diverse knowledge communities to advance sustainable development.

During the meeting, participants - data users and providers - discussed ways to improve the availability of environmental, societal and economic data from diverse knowledge communities.

The meeting also saw the launch of the Global Network of Networks, an initiative aligning existing and planned local, national and global networks including: the European Environment Information and Observation Network; the Sustained Arctic Observing Network; the Arab Region Environmental Information Network; the Latin American GeoSur initiative; and the Africa Environmental Information Network (AfricaEIN).

Expressing their intention to advance sustainable development, participants adopted the "Dublin Statement" as the major outcome of the meeting. According to the statement, communities who participated in the meeting commit to building on the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) outcome document, the Abu Dhabi Eye on Earth Summit in 2011, and the development of the Eye on Earth Network, to “facilitate the sharing of environmental, societal and economic data and information, provided by the diversity of knowledge communities, to support sustainable development.” The Dublin Statement also commits participants to supporting Eye on Earth special initiatives on: biodiversity; community sustainability and resiliency; oceans and blue carbon; disaster management; and water security. Finally, it notes the importance of space technology-based data and reliable geospatial information for sustainable development and decision making.

Supported by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Eye on Earth is a public information network for creating and sharing environmentally relevant information online. Information includes interactive maps, applications, and other data based on Geographic Information Systems (GIS). [Eye on Earth Summit Website] [UNEP Press Release] [Dublin Statement]