International experts attending the 2019 Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Week in Canberra said that China, as one of the four Co-Chairs of the organization, has contributed greatly to the world by sharing data to address sustainable development, disaster risk reduction and climate change.
"China's contribution has been fundamental because China is one of the four Co-Chairs of the GEO initiative, the Group on Earth Observations," Gilles Ollier, Euro GEO Co-lead, told Xinhua in an interview on Friday.
"China has exerted leadership since the beginning (of GEO) in 2005. And in this context, we could see that this week, the Chinese Co-chair had a very important responsibility and has been conducting the debate in a very wise way."
"China certainly will contribute at world level to develop the earth observation for applications in the domain of agriculture, for the domain of health, for the domain of water management, in particular, also in the domain of disaster risk reduction, for instance, for extreme events linked to a climate change."
Attending the event were more than 60 delegates from China's Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Natural Resources, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, China National Space Administration (CNSA), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China Meteorological Administration, among others.
Li Pengde, deputy director of China Geological Survey, presided over the opening ceremony of the Ministerial Summit on Friday.
At the GEO Week 2019, which is held between Monday and Saturday, the CNSA rolled out a platform for the sharing of data collected by 16m multispectral cameras of the Gaofen earth observation satellites.
"This is a great news. It's the beauty also of GEO because you are in a trusty environment. And we understand that China feel confident within GEO and as we have been opening in Europe the copy of data for the world. China is now opening the 16 metal observation data of the satellite for the world as well. So this is most welcome. This is really a matter," Ollier said.
China is developing quickly, said Gu Xingfa, researcher of the Aerospace Information Research Institute of CAS.
China will be the GEO 2020 Lead Co-Chair. "This could not be possible without worldwide acknowledgement of the country's contribution," he said.
His view was echoed by Mmboneni Muofhe, GEO South Africa Co-Chair.
Muofhe noted that China has contributed immensely in GEO. He said that since the establishment of GEO in its current form, China, South Africa, the European Commission and the United States have been Co-Chairs and also members of the executive committee, and they worked very well in terms of the contribution in GEO.
"And I'm quite pleased that China and partnership with South Africa has been very good in building GEO especially with regards to the benefits and the impact for the developing world."
For the next year for China's role in GEO, Muofhe said he believed it will be a success.
"I was also pleased that adding in the Lead Co-Chair, this year in 2019, I'm handling it over to China, who's now a Lead Co-Chair. And for me, I'm really quite pleased that I think the priorities that we have already said, that we are going to be built upon, and we can very much from my side confidently rely on China to take the whole commitment forward in terms of how GEO can actually continue to accelerate accessibility and availability of data.
The centerpiece of GEO Week 2019 is the Ministerial Summit on Friday, which is held once every four years. The theme of this year's Summit is "Earth observations: Investments in the digital economy."