The Climate Change Research Programme – CCRP Report 8 – “Earth Observation Strategy for Ireland” has been published (27 pages) – download the CCRP 8 report (PDF).
‘Earth observations’ (EO) is the collective term for measurements of land, ocean, and atmospheric parameters by in-situ, airborne and satellite systems. Historically, observations have been primarily ground based but satellite-based EO systems have developed rapidly in recent decades and have grown in scope, reliability and importance.
This document is focused on how Ireland can effectively engage with the GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) initiative and other relevant processes administered by the European Space Agency (ESA), as well as with the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO). For this, a national EO strategy is required.
From the report’s Conclusions section:
Ireland can obtain considerable environmental, scientific, technological and economic benefits from strategic engagement with the GMES initiative, the GEO and the ESA on EO. Ongoing ad-hoc activities need to be enhanced and put on a sustainable footing if Ireland is to avail of the opportunities for improved resource management, governance and service provision. This will involve development of a number of existing activities in Ireland through research investment and enhancing links with European and wider international bodies. However, a positive and visionary policy framework, supported at senior government level, is required for this, coupled with an effective co-ordination structure and implementation process that engages expertise and knowledge from the policy, research, operational and commercial sectors in Ireland. Such an approach would provide a coherent basis to enable Ireland to advance beneficial work in priority areas. This approach requires formal endorsement at senior government level, and may include the establishment of an EO brand for Ireland. A strategic approach such as this is required in order for Ireland to be recognised as a key participant in the development and use of EO technologies and to provide the relevant support to build on areas of national interest and advantage, in partnership with EU and wider international bodies.