The key objective of this activity was to advocate the expansion of the GEOSS to include observation systems and applications relevant to minerals issues. During the project period, the focus was on securing the inclusion of Minerals Tasks in the next GEO Work Plan, 2012-15. To this end, text was submitted on minerals during the Work Plan review, both by EO-MINERS partners and GEO Members. The aim was to ensure that the minerals-related Task(s) already appearing in the draft Work Plan were retained and the text improved to reflect minerals issues better. This was supported by lobbying to include minerals in the Work Plan and by a series of workshops and presentations at GEO European Project Workshops, Work Plan Symposia and Plenaries, that culminated in a EuroGeoSurveys presentation during a EuroGeoSurveys side-event at the GEO Plenary VIII in Istanbul, November 2011.
The Work Plan was adopted by GEO Members and Participating Organisations at the Istanbul Plenary, November 16th - 17th 2011 and included two Tasks on minerals issues:
- SB-05 (Impact Assessment of Human Activities), Component C2 (Impact Monitoring System for Geo-Resource Exploration and Exploitation) focused on pollution and waste aspects
- EN-01 (Energy & Geo-resources Management), focused on exploration and exploitation
EO-MINERS and its Partners are noted as a contributor to both of these tasks and the coordinator has been appointed as Point of Contact for the Task SB-05-C2. The diagram below shows where these Tasks fit into the new GEO structure, both reporting to the Societal Benefits Implementation Board.
EO-MINERS maintained its high level of engagement with GEO after this significant change was achieved. As a result, it is among the 8 projects mentioned in the 4-pages GEO Fact Sheet Brochure that was distributed at the GEO X Plenary and Ministerial Summit Ministers in Geneva, January 2014 and among the projects of key achievements included in the GEO “Report on Progress” 2011 - 2013.
Looking to the future, several partners' ongoing activity within GEO has led to them being invited to either co-chair or participate in the GEO Working Group of Coal and Environment (WGCE) that held its first meeting during the GEO X Plenary in Geneva, January 2014.
GEO aims to build a GEOSS that meets all the critical observational requirements of its societal benefit areas. Without question, this now includes minerals and related mining impacts. This leads to a new set of EO requirements being placed on GEOSS. EO-MINERS has shown what these are and this information can be used to describe the earth observing system necessary for minerals applications. Doing this is revealing as it is clear that some of the required components only exist on aircraft platforms or as part of a short-lived spaceborne experiment. EO-MINERS work on this sets out a clear agenda for GEOSS to develop in this application domain. If we are to measure and monitor minerals in the environment, a key requirement is to have continuity of spaceborne hyperspectral sensor systems.