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Historic declaration signed at Eye on Earth Summit

Abu Dhabi, UAE: The four-day long Eye on Earth Summit & Exhibition came to an end in the United Arab Emirates capital on Thursday. On the last day of the Summit, the meeting jointly agreed upon and signed the Eye on Earth Declaration that will provide inputs to the Rio+20 conference at Rio de Janeiro in June 2012.

The declaration, which was endorsed by the public, representatives from government, businesses and civil society present at the venue, provides a blueprint for nations around the world to work on building green economies. The declaration calls for better dissemination of information to facilitate decision making and also advocates better cooperation amongst communities and networks to share economic and social information.

The declaration was jointly signed by Dr Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahd (UAE Minister of Environment and Water), H.E. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak (Secretary-General of the Environment Agency -Abu Dhabi) and Peter Gilruth (Director of the Division of Early Warning and Assessment at the UNEP).

The declaration also calls for providing better technological support to the developing nations. Speaking on the momentous occasion, Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak said that the unanimous agreement to the declaration by all the parties underlines the success of the Summit. She also said that AGEDI will coordinate for special initiatives announced at the Summit including Eye on Water Security, Eye on Biodiversity, Eye on Oceans: Blue Carbon and Eye on Network of Networks.

Earlier during the day, Ed Parsons, Geospatial Technologist at Google highlighted the significance of technology in tackling global challenges. His presentation titled Geospatial Media: Telling stories with data showed how imagery creates a deep impact on the minds of the people and can thus help in stirring worldwide responses to natural calamities like the Haiti earthquake and Japan tsunami.

Lalanath De Silva, Director at the Access Initiative also revealed through his presentation how the smooth exchange of information around the world can help revolutionise the way in which we deal with different challenges.

The Summit has been a treasure trove of information with renowned speakers from around the world sharing their experiences and educating the people about serious global challenges like climate change and the crucial importance of information exchange to tackle with these challenges.

The Summit, which opened on Monday December 12th at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC),  included speakers from the UAE leadership, Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary General of the United Nations and Secretary General of Rio+20, President Bill Clinton, Dr. Russell Mittermeier, President Conservation International, Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and Dr. Jane Goodall, OBE.

The 2011 Eye on Earth Exhibition, which ran simultaneously alongside the Summit, showcased some of the best and latest projects related to geospatial and environmental data access from around the world. The exhibitors at the show included the EAD, AGEDI, UNEP, National Geographic Al Arabiya, Open Geospatial Consortium, Bayanat, Masdar, Google, Microsoft and ADSIC among others.

Organised by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi in association with the United Nations Environment Program and Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI), the summit was held from 12th to 15th December and brought together global environment leaders on a common platform to chalk out ways to better manage the environmental and societal data for a better, greener and more sustainable future.

Source: Our Correspondent