Client: Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD)
Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Starting Year: 2010
The Eye on Earth Summit, Alliance and Special Initiatives brings together global leaders, innovators and decision-makers to convene, converge and collaborate on an issue critical to the wise decision-making upon which our planet’s future depends: how to ensure equitable access to the world's expanding pool of environmental, social and economic data and information needed to achieve the new UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Eye on Earth Summit was hosted by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and was under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. Raymond Chavez served as Senior Producer and Program Development Advisor with the GPC Group for EAD and UNEP for the inaugural Eye on Earth Summit and Exhibition from 2010 – 2014. GPC work covered all phases of project design, planning, fundraising and production. GPC was also responsible for securing the following VIP keynote speakers and presentation curating for the Summit: President Bill Clinton, UN SecretaryGeneral for Rio+20, H.E. Sha Zukang, UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, National Geographic Explorer-In-Resident, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Dr. Jane Goodall, Esri President, Jack Dangermond, Google Earth Director, Rebecca Moore and IUCN Director General, Julia Marton-Levefre, among others. GPC's Raymond Chavez was also producer with National Geographic of the Eye on Earth Summit video (See Eye on Earth Curtain Rasier below).
Raymond was the GPC team leader for strategic partnership development of the new Eye on Earth Alliance which includes EAD, UNEP, Group on Earth Observation (GEO), IUCN and World Resources Institute. The Eye on Earth Alliance will assume leadership and responsibility for the next Summit currently planned for October 2015 and to support the Eye on Earth Special Initiatives. GPC’s work also included work in developing the Eye on Earth Fund, a public-private endowment and donor-advised fund that will support the Eye on Earth Alliance, Special Initiatives and Summit.
Eye on Earth focused on many topics related to environmental information networking, including Disaster Management, Oceans & Blue Carbon, Water Security, Innovative Cities, Networks Beyond Information Technology - and more. Working Groups and Open Sessions will helped reach a consensus on the key data and information issues that Rio +20 needs to focus on. These will be presented to Rio + 20 by AGEDI, on behalf of the Eye on Earth Community in the Eye on Earth Declaration.
Over four days Eye on Earth addressed the crucial importance of environmental and societal information and networking to decision-making. On the final day, the Summit delivered its conclusions, special initiatives and a declaration towards Rio+20. Keynote speakers throughout the four days of the Summit included President Bill Clinton and H.E. Dr Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahd, UAE Minister of Environment and Water.
The Exhibition featured the best in new geospatial observation and data processing technologies. Highlights included the Abu Dhabi Pavilion, Technology Showcase, Innovation Forum, and the One UN Pavilion that brought together UNEP and other UN agencies, funds and programmes to display information and products that illustrate the multi-dimensional international work the UN is doing in the area of environmental data and information.
Eye on Earth Curtain Raiser
Click here to view the agenda & speaker line-up.
Agenda & Speaker Line-up
GPC Group Summit Facilitation
As the lead contractor for the inaugural Eye on Earth Summit 2011, The GPC Group worked with EAD and AGEDI management to facilitate an international consortium including UNEP and the Taylor Group to deliver the Summit to widely accepted success. The GPC Group additionally focused on:
- Fine-tuned, commanding Program Management for the Eye on Earth Summit
- Facilitated the development of the content for the summit, through an extensive and highly inclusive array of Working Groups and Committees
- Organized and shaped the content for the summit, via 62 high-level, world-renowned main stage plenary speakers and 80 speakers for Working Group breakout sessions
- Promoting and coordinating the collaborative development of 9 Special Initiatives
- Outreach to over 4,500 invited participants
- Extensive content and special event delivery for the Eye on Earth Exhibition
The Special Initiatives
From the inaugural Eye on Earth Summit 2011, with a shared knowledge and understanding of the Eye on Earth Community, a suite of outcomes were committed to, including 8 Special Initiatives; 3 foundational and 5 thematic represent significant programmes of work:
The Eye on Water Security Special Initiative addresses challenging issues. The domain of water security encounters political reluctance to share data and information, which might be considered to document vulnerabilities. There is a lack of collaborative organisational arrangements, common data, and interoperable technology to support water data and information collection and use. In use addition, capacity to collect water information is undermined by a lack of resources and the lack of expertise to collect, analyse and interpret water data. This leads to a gap in capacity for generating reliable, adequate data and information to support scientific study, policy analysis, decision-making, or public information.
The Eye on Access for All SI promotes and encourages further the implementation of Principle 10 of the 1992 Rio Declaration globally. Principle 10, one of the major outcomes of the Rio Summit, recognizes and stresses that Environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level.
The Eye on Environmental Education Special Initiative is one of the Eye on Earth foundational Special Initiatives. It is designed as an educational contribution to sustainable development guided by the objectives of the Eye On Earth Summit 2011.Its aims at enhancing Environmental Education and Awareness in the formal, non-formal and informal education as well as capacity building sectors for responsible decision and policy making and transformative action for environment and sustainability in six target regions: Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America and West Asia.
The Eye on Global Network of Networks aims to join existing and emerging environmental information networks to facilitate systematic and inclusive access to, and reporting on, global environmental data, information and knowledge.Information and communication technologies, as well as the social networking and crowd-sourcing capabilities that these facilitate, are recognised as key to support other environmental and socio-economic information and knowledge. The current challenge is that many of these networks which directly or indirectly address environmental issues are not connected. The aim of this Special Initiative is to link these networks to promote the availability of environmental information at a global to local level and support this by establishing strong institutional arrangements and synergies that currently exist or are planned.
The Eye on Biodiversity Special Initiative focuses on the incentives required to further motivate people, government, agencies and organizations to share their information and data on issues related to biodiversity, particularly with regard to Principle 10 of the 1992 Rio Declaration.It is recognised that there is a substantial amount of information and data which could help address current biodiversity and ecosystem challenges, however there is much collected which is not shared, and much shared which is not connected and visible. The cost of sharing is also acknowledged and the challenge remains to provide an infrastructure where the benefits from sharing are simple, immediate and self-evident.
The Eye on Community Sustainability and Resiliency Special Initiative has developed an international forum/community of practice linking practitioners and policy makers, who focus on urban and peri-urban development with projects and activities within the broad topic of sustainability and resiliency. The forum, creating a network of people and urban systems, facilitates the sharing of urban information, concepts, tools, challenges and solutions for greatest positive impact.
The Eye on Disaster Management Initiative is being framed as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to strengthen existing networks and support Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) capacity building for more effective disaster planning and response as well as climate change adaptation. Special emphasis is placed on disaster resistant community development and resiliency in the most vulnerable communities and countries in the world.
The Eye on Oceans & Blue Carbon Special Initiative focuses on collecting data on oceans and coastal ecosystems(specifically mangroves, sea grass and intertidal saltmarsh) and making them useful in the context of management of climate change mitaigation (through carbon storge and sequestration) as well as maintenance of ecosystem services valuable to coastal communities.