AMMAN - The Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN) has recently been approved as a Participating Organization for the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) – which includes Member governments of 102 nations, the European Commission, and 103 Participating Organizations (regional and international bodies with a commitment to advance Earth observations (EO)). GEO operates on a global partnership basis to leverage and co-ordinate EO activities to help tackle major global environmental challenges. ASREN will contribute towards GEO’s objectives by helping connect existing North African EO centers to the North African research and education networks, thus providing the e-Infrastructure essential for EO data acquisition, processing and distribution. ASREN will engage with the EO research community to assess and meet its data-communications needs and liaise with governments and other stakeholders in the Arab region.
ASREN’s primary objective is to assist the implementation of GEO’s African regional initiative AfriGEOSS, which held its first Symposium last April at Victoria Falls and sets out to focus current GEO activities across Africa. AfriGEOSS aims to engage at governmental and scientific levels, and concentrate initially on strengthening EO for food security, and agriculture and sustainable forest management areas. ASREN will work closely with GÉANT - the pan-European research and education network, which is already a GEO Partner, and with WACREN in Western and Central Africa and the UbuntuNet Alliance in Eastern and Southern Africa, to harness their efforts to promote pan-African R&E networking through their AfricaConnect2 project to support the implementation of AfriGEOSS.
H.E. Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, Chairman of ASREN said: “ASREN is now going beyond connectivity and service provision as we are now working with more global organizations such as Group on Earth Observations to promote collaboration and to enable joint research activities that can benefit from the e-Infrastructures we are establishing jointly with our partners, namely, the AfricaConenct2 Project”.
Dr. Barbara J. Ryan, Secretariat Director said: “GEO welcomes ASREN into its global community as we envisage ASREN will advance GEO’s coordination with the scientific community, especially in a region that is not yet fully engaged in GEO.” She added, “As this decade of GEO calls for greater connection and support with global development issues, the work of the research networks in e-infrastructure will ensure better dissemination of information derived from Earth observations.”
About Group on Earth Observations (GEO)
GEO is a voluntary partnership of governments and organizations that envisions “a future wherein decisions and actions for the benefit of humankind are informed by coordinated, comprehensive and sustained Earth observations”. GEO membership includes 102 Member governments and 103 Participating Organizations comprised of international bodies with a mandate in Earth observations. The GEO community is creating a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) that will link Earth observation resources world-wide across multiple Societal Benefit Areas.
About the Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN)
Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN) is the association of the Arab region National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), that aims to implement, manage and extend sustainable Pan-Arab e-Infrastructures dedicated for the Research and Education communities, and to boost scientific research and cooperation in member countries through the provision of world-class e-Infrastructures and E-services.
AfricaConnect2 is an EU-funded pan-African connectivity project that aims to support the development and consolidation of high-capacity regional internet networks for R&E across Africa and their interconnection with the pan-European GÉANT network, creating a continental gateway for collaborative research and education across and beyond Africa.