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We discussed Agenda 21 in Section 2.4.4; this document was intended to set out a master plan or international programme for achieving sustainable development. Section 40.9 of Agenda 21 states ôRelevant international organizations should develop practical recommendations for co-ordinated, harmonized collection and assessment of data at the national and international levels.ö

Earlier chapters in this book have emphasized the need for global environmental datasets and shown that Earth observation has the capacity to provide some of the required information. But ôthe range of global observation needed to understand and to monitor Earth processes and to assess human impacts, exceeds the scientific technical and financial capacity of any one countryö (IGOS 1999).

Indeed, the situation is ever more complex that this because ôneither a surface-based and or in-situ observing system, nor a space-based system have the capacity to singularly observe the Earth systemö (Unninayer and Schiffer 1997).

The need for international efforts to study climate and climate change has long been recognized. It is impossible to trace this process back to a single starting point and this chapter makes no attempt to do so. Instead this chapter provides one vision of the future, the emerging Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS) IGOS)

Additional information

Authors: BELWARD A, JRC-Space Applications Institute, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: An article published in: Remote Sensing and Climate Change-The Role of Earh Observation. Published by: Springe-Praxis Books in Geophysical Sicence. Pp.217-223
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