Eye on Earth Summit 2015 to be held under royal patronage of President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

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HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, continues his royal patronage of the second Eye on Earth Summit, to be held in Abu Dhabi from 6-8 October 2015.

The Summit will be the world’s foremost event dedicated to identifying solutions for greater access to and sharing of environmental, social and economic data to address sustainable development.

Reconvening thought leaders, policy makers and innovators from government, UN agencies, NGOs, the private sector, academia and civil society, Eye on Earth Summit 2015 will seek to better understand the supply and demand of data necessary to secure the future of our planet.

Despite technological and scientific advancements, decision makers often lack vital data on the state of the world’s resources. This problem is known as the “data gap” and filling it is critical to the post-2015 development agenda, the shared framework for global action and cooperation on development for the next 15 years.

The Eye on Earth movement, which oversees the Summit, extends the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative’s (AGEDI’s) core mission to facilitate access to quality environmental data that equips policy makers with actionable, timely information to inform and guide critical decisions towards a sustainable future.

Eye on Earth.
Eye on Earth.

“Lending our support to international initiatives like Eye on Earth is necessary to help us realise the sustainable development goals globally and locally under the UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda and the Abu Dhabi Environment Policy Agenda,” said HE Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi.

“As a catalysing force for environmental protection, as well as being the lead authority for environmental regulation and control, the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi and our respective divisions must work alongside local and international stakeholders to gain a deeper understanding of our environmental reality,” she added.

Eye on Earth Summit 2015 will cast the spotlight on the role governments, technology, the scientific community and citizen participation play in closing the data gap and enhancing access to quality data. With close to 30 sessions over the course of three days, delegates will learn about the potential for big data to save the planet and how it can drive the necessary institutional change governments need to make in order to decouple economic growth from the rate of natural resource consumption.

Looking in detail at the logarithmic explosion, both in terms of data volume and sources, the Summit will explore the undiscovered potential of new resources, like crowd sourcing and citizen science, as well as cutting-edge technologies to engage many more actors in the world’s transition to a sustainable future.

The business of sustainable development is another major focus at the Summit and will explore the role of the private sector in commercialising environmental-related data as well as understanding industries’ specific data demands to better manage risk, ensure access to capital and strengthen social licence to operate.

The Summit will conclude with a focus on what conditions are necessary to support effective synergies between data users and data providers. Policy arenas, funding commitments and capacity building are some of the topics that will be discussed.

Eye on Earth is a collaborative effort between the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi through the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI), and the Eye on Earth Alliance, a partnership of organisations that aim to build and mobilise global support for access to environmental data. As part of its ongoing expansion, the Alliance has recently grown to include, in addition to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Resources Institute (WRI).

Eye on Earth Summit 2015 is already attracting some of the world’s most respected leaders in sustainable development including the heads of the Alliance partner organisations: Achim Steiner, Barbara J. Ryan from GEO, Inger Anderson from IUCN, and Janet Ranganathan from WRI. Renowned scientific experts and business professionals are also lending their voice to the Summit including: Professor Jacqueline McGlade, UNEP Chief Scientist and Director of the Division of Early Warning and Assessment; Anne Miglarese, President and CEO, PlanetiQ; Lian Pin Koh, PhD, Regional Technical Advisor for Conservation International, a TED speaker, and Founding Director of the non-profit ConservationDrones.org; and Louis Liebenberg, Executive Director of CyberTracker Conservation NPC.

A global audience will also able to participate in the Summit and contribute to the dialogue via online and social media tools. Information on how to take part in the event is available via the Eye on Earth website www.eoesummit.org.