Vietnam takes over Committee on Earth Observation Satellites 2019 Chairmanship

In order to enhance Vietnam"s position in the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) and take over the rotating chairmanship of CEOS, and promote the diversity of leadership roles of members from major geographic regions like the US, Europe, Africa, Asia/Pacific; on October 18, 2018, in Brussels (Belgium), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Anh Tuan - General Director of Vietnam National Space Center (VNSC) under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST), represented VAST to take over the position of rotating Chairman of CEOS 20.

CEOS members attend the plenary session on October 16-18, 2018, in Brussels, Belgium

The Earth Observation Satellite Committee (CEOS) was established in September 1984, with the mission of ensuring a close connection to international cooperation in civil space earth observation programs and encouraging exchange of satellite data to optimize social benefits, support decisions to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for mankind. The main objectives of CEOS include:

  • Optimizing the benefits of earth observation from space through the cooperation of CEOS members in planning tasks and developing policies, applications, services, formats, and data compatible products;

  • Supporting CEOS member organizations and the international user community by, in addition to other ways, acting to promote international cooperation of earth observation activities from space including group on earth observations (GEO) and organizations related to global change;

  • Exchanging technical and policy information to encourage mutual support and compatibility between active or developing earth observation systems, and data collected from these systems, and solve common concerns of all earth observation satellite missions.

  • Currently, CEOS has 34 members, including organizations such as the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA), the French National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), the UK Space Agency (UKSA), Russian Federal Space Agency (ROSKOSMOS), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), European Commission (EC), US Geological Survey (USGS), US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commonwealth of Australia Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), and 28 coordinating partners such as United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), and others.

Since 2013, VAST has become an official member of CEOS and assigned the Vietnam National Space Center to be the contact.

Taking the position of CEOS Chairman in 2019, Vietnam will carry out specific tasks, including:

  • Playing a central role in strategic coordination of current and future tasks of CEOS member agencies, continuing to support GEO;

  • Collaborating with the Chairman of the Strategic Implementation Group (SIT) and the Secretariat (SEC) to build, connect and encourage the contributions of members, partners and related parties on CEOS earth observation activities: 

  • Coordinating activities to support related parties such as: GEO, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), international strategy for disaster mitigation, United Nations Convention on Biology Diversity, global climate, ocean and ground observation system, and G8/G20 developed countries group.

  • Organizing and chairing the following meetings to inform, evaluate and implement CEOS activities: annual CEOS plenary meeting, Secretariat monthly meetings, Troika meetings and other meetings if needed;

  • Monitoring activities of CEOS CEO, Deputy CEO and CEOS working groups to ensure continuity and effectiveness of the activities.

 Prof. Dr. Pham Anh Tuan, representative of Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, takes over the position of President of CEOS 2019

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Anh Tuan, General Director of the Vietnam National Space Center, said that in 2019, as Vietnam takes the position of CEOS Chairman, it will give 2 main initiatives:

  • Observing carbon, focusing on forest monitoring: coordinating earth observation data to effectively monitor and manage forest resources in the area, through a special team (Ad Hoc Team) on the Space Data Coordination Group (SDCG) under the Global Forest Observation Initiative (GFOI), supporting the development of monitoring and measurement, measuring, reporting and verifying (MRV) national forests. In regional countries (Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar), as there is a rapid change in forest area due to conversion forest into agricultural land, the planting of industrial plantations, and reforestation programs, it leads to the need to develop a real-time monitoring system with a specific assessment of user needs.Specifically, the Datacube system at VNSC (Vietnam DataCube), in cooperation with the Forest Inventory and Planning Institute (FIPI), will be used to simulate the process to assess forest carbon stocks to support the reporting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and can be extended to other tropical regions. This will be done in collaboration with CEOS partners participating in the Global Forest Observation Initiative;

  • Observations for agriculture, in particular rice monitoring: together with the Group on Earth Observations Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM), and networks within the Asia-Rice GEOGLAM framework, the main focus of the initiative focuses on the actual use of CEOS data, especially the synthetic aperture radar data (SAR) in rice monitoring in Asia. In the Vietnam DataCube workshop (VDC) in March 2018, the rice monitoring system was simulated under the cooperation of the Center for the Study of the Biosphere from Space (CESBIO) of the National Space Research Center of France (CNES). This event is also in line with the work plan for CEOS period 2018-2020, section Agri-8.

VNSC will pursue rice surveillance activities in Vietnam. As a CEOS member, the European Space Agency (ESA) has expanded the project GEORICE to widely simulate surveillance activities in 5 regional countries (Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar). With these specific applications, Asia-Rice Technical Simulation Sites (e.g. simulating the Red River Delta and the Mekong River Delta) will participate in the Network of Joint Experiment for Crop Assessment and Monitoring (JECAM).

These applications are very practical in assessing Vietnam"s agricultural development and will be expanded in the countries of the Mekong region. At the 32nd plenary session, two Vietnamese initiatives received support and commitment from CEOS member organizations in sharing satellite data; human resource training; opportunities to participate in projects and potential topics.

The CEOS plenary session in 2019 with international organizations hosted by Vietnam will take place in Hanoi from October 14-16, 2019.


Tranlated by Phuong Huyen
Link to vietnamese version

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