New Caledonia at the GEO Week

15 November 2019

regional cooperation

Official photo of Governmen represen(tatives  who participated in GEO Week 2019, including New Caledonia's Official Representative to Australia, Yves Lafoy ( 3rd row on the right).

Official photo of Governmen represen(tatives who participated in GEO Week 2019, including New Caledonia's Official Representative to Australia, Yves Lafoy ( 3rd row on the right).

In early November, a  New Caledonian delegation attended  the annual meeting of the Group on Earth Observation, alongside the French delegation. Called the GEO Week, the event which took place in Canberra this year was attended by about 1.500 participants.

Composed of 108 Member States, 130 international organisations, and numerous private sector representatives, the Group on Earth Observation (GEO) works to facilitate access to and the exchange of information of geophysical data  at the global level.  Earth measurements, collected by satellites, planes, ships and observatories,  are at the heart of GEO's work and its evolution.  The Organization's annual meeting  took place from 4-9 November  and focused on " The Integration of Eath Observation Data in Digital Economies,"  the goal being to better use these precious information  for socio-economic ends.  As the organizer of the 2019 edition, Australia wanted to invite Pacific Islands States and Territories, including New Caledonia, alongside the French delegation

New Caledonian Expertise

Led by New Caledonia's Official Representative to Australia, Yves Lafoy, the New Caledonian delegation included representatives from the Government's Department for Technologies and Information Services  (DTSI), the company Bluecham and the start-up Insight, both specialized in satellite data treatment and geo-solutions. The small group was able to participate in some of the GEO Week's key sessions.  " A more strategic cooperation between  the Pacific and the GEO community is a necessity. New Caledonia, with its expertise in earth observation in both the public and private sectors  is a genuine partner," argued Yves Lafoy, with representatives of regional countries and territories in attendance.  New Caledonia's participation showcased its scientific and technical capabilities in this cutting-edge sector thanks to the know-how of both its public and private sector actors and was an opportunity to  lend support to the Australian project involving an observation platform dedicated to the Pacific ( see box below) . New Caledonia, which is already involved in the Pacific Fusion Center initiative led by Australia,  used the event as an opportunity to strengthen its regional integration.

La Calédonie a participé à la séquence ministérielle, le 8 novembre, durant laquelle a été signée la déclaration de Canberra, plan d’actions pour la période 2020-2024.

New Caledonia participated in the Ministerial Segment, on 8 November, during which the Canberra Declaration, an action plan for the 2020-2024 period  was signed.


Focus on the Pacific
Australia wants to develop an earth observation platform  dedicated to the region, a project which echoes the announcement of a future Space Observatory for the Climate (SCO) made by the President of the French Republic, Emanuel Macron, during the One Planet Summit , of which the proposed platform could be the Oceanian component.  This tool would allow Pacific Islands Countries and Territories to access  data to be used to assist decision-making  on environmental and climate change issues, which are paramount for the region and its people. The Geo Week concluded with the signing by GEO members of the Talanoa Declaration, which endorses the creation of this platform.