A 10-year, €12 billion ($15.7 billion) project to construct the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) for monitoring climate and disaster areas was agreed on 16 February at a conference organised by the European Space Agency and European Commission.

Representatives from 55 nations and over 30 international organisations supported the plan, which it is claimed will help reduce famine, eliminate epidemics and save lives. The next step will be to flesh out the project's 120-page skeleton plan over the next two years. The plan has nine areas including weather, climate, water, energy and hazard management.

Following further studies, a decision to implement GEOSS will be taken in 2011, with the system to be operational by 2015. Although GEOSS will use existing monitoring networks, such as the World Meteorological Organisation's assets, more satellites will be needed.

Source: Flight International