There are major milestone events linked to global policy agendas taking place in 2021, including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP26, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP15, the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration. These will bring a new set of challenges and opportunities for the international community. During GEO Week 2021, we will present the multidisciplinary activities of the GEO Work Programme that address these areas. This will be assessed through the lens of nexus thinking to highlight how the use of Earth observations in different sectors contributes to these efforts.

This online event will include the GEO -17 Plenary, anchor and side events, and a virtual exhibition. Time will be scheduled each day for virtual networking. On Monday, November 22, the 56th Executive Committee will be held as a closed meeting.

The GEO -17 Plenary Session will be held November 23- 26. See the program here

GEO Mountains Scientific Project Officer James Thornton will speak at Plenary Session 4: Bridging the Digital Divide with Data, Tools and Knowledge on 25 November from 12:00-14:00 CET. Find more information here.


The Plenary sessions will be broadcasted live and the session recordings will be made available afterwards.

Anchor and Side Events

A series of events will be open to the GEO community for participation. These virtual, interactive events will take place throughout the week. Recordings of the sessions will be made available on the GEO website. The call for Side Events to the GEO community will be issued in July 2021.


We plan to hold a virtual exhibition, depending on the level of interest from the GEO community. A call for expressions of interest for the exhibition will be issued in July 2021.


Member statements will be made available on the GEO Week website. The call for statements will be published in July 2021.

Session descriptions

Virtual Exhibition: each year at GEO Week there is an opportunity for GEO members and others in the GEO community to showcase their work during the exhibition. This year, the exhibition space is virtual and attendees will be able to visit each exhibit space through the online conference facility.

Virtual Networking: Breaks between sessions will provide an opportunity for attendees to meet and discuss topics related to GEO Week topics. Networking will take place in a separate, dedicated room where attendees will be able to interact with other attendees.

Anchor Events: These are the main events designed by GEO week 2021 organizers to explain the multidisciplinary nature of GEO through the concept of nexus thinking. Working on multiple topics simultaneously is essential in today's rapidly changing environmental and social conditions. For example, work in one area will have a knock-on effect or impact in another area, such as the water, energy and food nexus. These events are linked to the global policy agendas that underpin most of GEO 's work.

Side Events: A tradition at GEO Week, side events highlight the activities of the GEO community. Typically, individuals involved in the GEO Work Programme will present their recent work, including progress since the last meetings and plans for the upcoming period. Each session will last one hour.

Opening Session: This is the first part of the GEO Week where all attendees will be provided with an overview of all planned activities, including welcome speeches and a keynote speech to set the tone for the week.

Plenary Sessions: Under the banner of Accelerating Action in GEO, a series of sessions will look at the GEO Work Programme, in particular progress on the GEO Engagement Priorities and the work of the GEO Working Groups.

GEO-17 Plenary