8 September 2023

EuroGeographics Interventions at GGIM13

One of the primary strengths of EuroGeographics – expertise in knowledge exchange and capacity development at a regional level – was key to its interventions at the thirteenth session of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM).

The Association's network links different players within the wider data ecosystem and it works in partnership with those who share its goal of using geospatial data to find solutions to global problems, such as UNGGIM. EuroGeographics reiterated its willingness to share this for the benefit of both the Committee and the Regional Committee in line with its Letter of Collaboration with UN-GGIM.

EuroGeographics interventions on the Agenda Items brought before the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management at its Thirteenth Session

Agenda item #3. Enhancing global geospatial information management arrangements.

EuroGeographics would like to inform the Committee of Experts that we are remain committed to continue to resource and support the provision of the UN-GGIM: Europe secretariat through the renewal of our service level agreement with the Netherlands. We also continue to actively support the work and efforts of the Committee, to participate, collaborate and contribute in UN-GGIM activities as observers on both the global and European levels.

EuroGeographics would like to congratulate the Government of India and the UN-GGIM Secretariat for the success of the Second United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress, which held last October. We were pleased to support the Committee in the preparations of the Congress and would be happy to extend similar support in the future if required, including the Seventh High-level Forum on Global Geospatial Information Management in Mexico next year.  

We are also pleased to note the side event on “Inclusion and diversity in geospatial information management” held at the side of this thirteenth session. EuroGeographics was proud to be one of the supporting organisations organising a special side event on the topic at the last Congress. Side events at the ninth and twelfth session focused on gender and women. All these events highlight the importance of gender equality, diversity and inclusion – which are cross cutting issues that permeate across all the work of the Committee of Experts.

Agenda item #4. Contribution of regional committees to the global geospatial information agenda

EuroGeographics would like to inform the Committee that we are making our online infrastructure and communications network available to support the delivery of the series of webinars organised by UN-GGIM: Europe. Four webinars have been organised so far, with a total participation of almost 500 people from 70 countries, including a number from outside Europe. More are planned in the coming months. We are happy to provide one of the key strengths of EuroGeographics – our expertise in knowledge exchange and capacity development at a regional level – for the benefit of the Committee and the Regional Committee.

We would also like to inform the Committee that EuroGeographics is leading an EU-funded project, Open Maps For Europe 2 (OME), which supports the ambitions of the UN Integrated Geospatial Information Framework (IGIF) by aligning the technical specification of the OME2 large-scale data prototype with UN-GGIM core recommendations for data. The project implements the fourteen core data themes, for which the UN-GGIM: Europe Working Group on Core Data proposed recommendations of content, in a practical context as the basis for the OME2 data model.  

Agenda item #5. Contribution of thematic networks to the global geospatial information agenda

As an Association with a strong pillar of knowledge exchange activities, EuroGeographics appreciates the many capacity development activities undertaken by the thematic networks during the intersessional period. We would like to offer our support and network to extend some of our knowledge exchange activities with the broader UN-GGIM community. This would be in line with the Letter of Collaboration EuroGeographics signed with UN-GGIM last year.

As providers of pan-European data produced from our Members’ official national sources, EuroGeographics provide SALB with harmonised, open pan-European data which contributes to the ‘One United Nations Geospatial Situation Room’. We are also able to share our expertise in meeting the challenge of collating and producing trusted seamless data from disparate sources to be used for the public good. 

Agenda item #6. The future geospatial information ecosystem

EuroGeographics thanks the Committee of Experts for considering the future geospatial information ecosystem. National Geospatial Information Agencies provide a framework to underpin the wider data ecosystem by bringing together data from a complex network of different players. As the association of European NMCAs, we believe that National Geospatial Information Agencies should champion the unique value of geospatial data and knowledge they deliver to society.

EuroGeographics would like to share that it provides an extensive and inclusive programme of knowledge exchange that links different players in the data ecosystem, in particular by establishing partnerships with those who share our goal of using geospatial data to find solutions to global problems. This includes our collaboration with UN-GGIM.

Agenda item #9. Geospatial information for sustainable development and climate resilience

The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2023 Special Edition highlights the data challenge for the SDGs and calls for more inclusive data for development. EuroGeographics agrees that more effort should be invested in coordinating and collating data for the SDGs to address the data and digital divide. It would also like to inform the Committee of Experts of its stakeholder engagement activities that demonstrate the integral role of official national geospatial data in the implementation and measurement of the SDGs to policy makers. Use cases are also available via our website.

EuroGeographics would like to suggest to the Committee of Experts that data geospatial data is integrated into the next development framework, thereby providing a stronger and more inclusive development framework beyond the 2030 Agenda.

Agenda item #10. Integration of geospatial, statistical and other related information

EuroGeographics would like to share with the Committee of Experts that it is supporting improved integration of geospatial and statistical data through a new agreement with Eurostat. This provides European National Statistical Institutions with access to the official pan-European administrative boundary data used by Eurostat for its reports. Furthermore, we are supporting users and stakeholders through a new knowledge exchange programme focussed on technical issues and topics.

EuroGeographics informs the Committee of its collaboration with UNSD that extends its knowledge exchange programme to the broader UN-GGIM community. This means that, together, we are helping to address key global challenges through capacity development. We are pleased to offer the Committee access to our programme through our collaboration with UN-GGIM to support implementation of the GSGF.

Agenda item #11. Application of geospatial information related to land administration and management

EuroGeographics has an active interest in this topic, especially through our ‘Knowledge Exchange Network on Cadastre and Land Registration’ composed of the cadastre and land registration organisations in Europe. We are open to possible cooperation and collaboration with the Expert Group, offering our network and successful knowledge exchange activities to further help raise awareness and knowledge of the FELA to a relevant and interested audience.

EuroGeographics informs the Committee that a large-scale  Open Cadastral Map prototype is available via the Open Maps interface and is being enhanced as part of the OME2 project The map takes INSPIRE open data and allows the user to find out what is available from national sources in one place before obtaining the data from the official provider.

Agenda item #14. Policy and legal frameworks, including issues related to authoritative data

As the Member Association representing the European organisations nationally mandated to produce geospatial information, EuroGeographics has long been interested in the concepts and thinking in Europe on the notion of authoritative geospatial data. We strongly believe in a society empowered by trusted geospatial data from reliable sources, and welcome the paper on “Authoritative data in an evolving geospatial landscape: an exploration of policy and legal challenges”. We believe that, through its consultative process, this paper provides a through and global understanding of the meaning of ‘authoritative’ for the global geospatial context.

EuroGeographics notes that the Working Group is considering extending its consideration and efforts towards address authoritative “fit for purpose” geospatial data for crises and disasters. We would like to inform the Committee that its Framework Licence agreement with the European Environment Agency is improving access to authoritative geographic and land information. It is also exploring solutions for providing full, free, and open access to geospatial data for the Copernicus programme. Case studies are available on the website.

EuroGeographics would like to offer to host the next formal expert (in-person) meeting of the Working Group in Brussels Belgium in 2024, holding this meeting in collaboration with the EuroGeographics Policy Knowledge Exchange Network to maximise the participation and input from Members, relevant stakeholders and policy makers.