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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Global Eye on Earth Summit Launched in Abu Dhabi

President Bill Clinton(Abu Dhabi) – Under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the Eye on Earth Summit was launched at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. The Global Eye on Earth Abu Dhabi 2011 Summit and Exhibition is hosted by Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD), facilitated by Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) and held in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The Summit has convened leaders from the worldwide geospatial data movement to sketch a roadmap for improved access and ability to use and leverage environmental data and information for the benefit of all communities of our global society.

At the opening ceremony, H. E. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, the Secretary-General of Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, said: “The reason we are all here today (is) safeguarding our environment for our future generation. This Summit is held in recognition that environmental and societal data should be collected in a concerted manner, at its source, made accessible and affordable and should be used to underpin reporting and support decision making in order to achieve sustainable development.”

Jack Dangermond, the President of the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), told the delegates that the new tools that make it easy for citizens to visualize data on maps are revolutionizing the way the world uses and understands information. He added that perhaps the most revolutionary part of it is the migration of data to the internet “cloud”. The challenge is how to migrate this existing and future data to these open systems, for the greatest benefit of all. “We need to work had at this,” Dangermond said.

Cathrine Jane Armour, Programme Manager of Abu Dhabi Global Data Initiative (AGEDI) and Programme Director of the Eye on Earth Abu Dhabi 2011 Summit said, “Some claim we live in a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene – an age of man. Everywhere we look; there are signs of human impact. In order to constrain that impact we must have access to environmental and societal data and information.”

Former US president Bill Clinton in his speech at the summit, made a clarion call for a green economy fueled by clean energy. He said, “The lack of environmental data hurts. On top of all environmental issues, the financial crisis is making the world’s stability even worse. The only way out, though, is a green economy”.

“Certain amount of instability is good for creativity but too much of it freezes people up. The economic model we have been following proved to be unsustainable because of the way we consume energy and the depletion of resources. In this context, this is a very good meeting and those of you focused on giving us good data are profoundly important,” declared Clinton.

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