Global Sustainable Development Lead-Figures to Speak at Eye on Earth Summit

Global Sustainable Development Lead-Figures to Speak at Eye on Earth Summit-YesGulf

UAE’s Capital will Host Eye on Earth Summit 2015 

Summit agenda is set to highlight the crucial role of quality data and information envisioned to secure the future of the planet.

Following the success of inaugural ‘Eye on Earth’ Summit in 2011, Abu Dhabi will host its second episode from 6-8 October this year.

Some of the globally recognised leaders in sustainable development are confirmed to speak at summit. This event is intended to promote dialogue and to propel the international action in order to revolutionize the way data collection, sharing and use is done for real-world change.

Speakers will talk about how to achieve scalable impact of data and information for a sustainable future.

The summit will be held under the honourable patronage of President of UAE and ruler of Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Eye on Earth summit will explore the imperative requirements for improved access to and sharing of economic, social and environmental data so as to support enlightened decision-making for sustainable development.

With the post-2015 evolution agenda decisively positioning sustainability as top global priority in 2015 and beyond, ‘Eye on Earth’ will focus on role of governments, scientific community, technology and also the public participation in enhancing access to quality data related to world’s resources situation.

In nearly 30 sessions of the 3-day summit, more than 100 speakers will talk around supply and demand dynamics, empowering conditions, and critical role of quality data and information to create a sustainable future in form of healthier planet.

2015 is anticipated to mark a turning point for effectively sustainable development, poverty abolition and Earth’s protection by setting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By the end of 2015, a revolutionary new agreement regarding global climate change is expected to be enacted.

HE Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak (Secretory-General of EAD) said “The events of 2015 make the work of Eye on Earth more important than ever as we come together – governments, the private sector, academia and civil society – to improve information availability and quality to safeguard the future of the planet and humanity. At Summit 2015 we hope to agree the roadmap that will get us there,”

EAD (Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi) is the founding ‘Eye on Earth’ Alliance Partner.

Summit opening will focus on the policy maker demand for environmental-related data and related challenges to be used for making evidence-based decisions. Headed by Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP and Undersecretary-General of the UN, issues like inconsistent data distribution mechanisms across the regions, institutional outlooks to open-source data policies and also the private sector response to commercial imperatives, are some of the key topics of discussion in the summit. Another critical agenda is the need for data so as to address the crisis of Syrian refugee.

Some of the guest speakers who will also debate on these issues include:

  • Felix Dodds, Senior Fellow at the Global Research Institute of the University of North Carolina and an Associate Fellow at the Tellus Institute
  • Jonathan Kent Deal, CEO of Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG) and winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize.
  • Fernando R. Echavarria from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science (OES).

Second day of the summit will be opened by Barbara Ryan (Secretariat Director of the Group on Earth Observations).  She will explore the issues impeding the availability and the accessibility of environmental-related data. She will be joined by:

  • Muki Haklay, Professor of Geographic Information Science at University College London (UCL) and director of its Extreme Citizen Science group.
  • Louis Liebenberg, Executive Director of CyberTracker Conservation NPC and also the Associate of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University.
  • Ed Parsons, the Geospatial Technologist of Google responsible for evangelising Google’s mission of organising the global information using geography.

Summit’s second day will focus on exploring the unfathomed potential of new resources, for instance, citizen science, crowd sourcing plus innovative technologies with the purpose of engaging more and more actors in the planet’s transition to a sustainable future. For this, speakers will exhaustively look at the logarithmic data explosion in reference volume and sources as well.

Summit’s third and the last day will be opened with the address of Inger Anderson. She is Director General of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and will then be joined by Enrico Giovannini-A distinguished Italian economist and illustrious statistician.

The Eye on Earth Summit 2015 will be concluded with emphasis on mandatory conditions for supporting effective synergies between data users and the providers. In addition, policy domains, funds assurance and capacity building will also be discussed.

UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said “The Eye on Earth network is just getting started, but it could substantially alter the course of sustainable development for generations to come. Its potential impact has been likened to the equivalent of the Human Genome Revolution. That’s how important and valuable environmental-related data could become. The cooperation between stakeholders in government, academic, civil society and the private sector remains the most important element in Eye on Earth’s success. Everyone can, and should, lend their support to this endeavor”

On macro level, a successful Summit and budding international movement could mean the decline in natural resource depletion while increase in adoption of greener economies. It possibly will ensure responsible policies and education for excellently enhanced management of urban growth plus the development in knowledge and innovation arenas so as to guide and steer all nations towards a promising, improved and sustainable future.

While on micro level, it is hoped that Eye on Earth Summit will provide significant tools and opportunities indispensable for stakeholders to foster the partnerships for supporting informed decision-making and collaboration. Augmented funding will also permit the community-run Special Initiative programmes in an attempt to assist in the attainment of SDGs and many other global environmental goals.

“We have a shared responsibility, globally, to address the topic of sustainability in the face of continuing population growth. By understanding how we access, use and support environmental-related data, we will strengthen our capabilities to develop environmental policies and regulations, ensure appropriate enforcement and enhance sustainable development,” said Mr. Steiner.

You can tune to the summit and can also initiate dialogue with the attendees through live social media feeds.

Get the full Summit agenda and list of speakers from

About ‘Eye on Earth’

Eye on Earth is a global movement that aims to improve access to and sharing of environmental, social and economic data, to better inform decision-making for sustainable development. The mission of Eye on Earth is achieved through the work of the five governing Alliance Partners, eight targeted Special Initiatives, and the Eye on Earth Summit.

For more information, visit

About EAD (Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi)

Established in 1996, the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD) is committed to protecting and enhancing air quality, groundwater as well as the biodiversity of our desert and marine ecosystem.

For more information, visit

About AGEDI Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative)

Under the guidance and patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, AGEDI was formed in 2002 to address responses to the critical need for readily accessible, accurate environmental data and information for all those who need it.

For more information, visit

About GEO (Group on Earth Observations)

Established in 2005, GEO strives to improve the world’s observation systems and provide policy makers and scientists with accurate and useful data that can be used to make informed decisions on issues affecting the planet.

For more information, visit

About IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature)

IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, with more than 1,200 government and NGO Members and almost 11,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world.

For more information, visit

About UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme)

UNEP is the voice for the environment in the UN system. Established in 1972, UNEP’s mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

For more information, visit

About WRI (World Resources Institute)

WRI is a global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. Our 450 experts and staff work with partners in more than 50 countries; we have offices in Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia and the United States.

For more information, visit


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