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Indigenous Leaders Make History at Living Planet Symposium with First-Ever Scientific Session

Bonn hosts historic first Indigenous-led scientific event as part of the European Space Agency's Living Planet Symposium (LPS) one of the largest Earth observation conferences in the world. This prestigious event, held in Bonn, Germany, May 23-27, 2022, and co-organised with the German Aerospace Centre, offered all participants the opportunity to learn first-hand about the latest scientific discoveries about our planet.

The Indigenous scientific event organised by the GEO Indigenous Alliance featured Indigenous-led projects that highlighted how the GEO Indigenous Alliance is co-developing EO-based tools that integrate Indigenous knowledge systems and cultural values with cutting-edge technologies, and the barriers Indigenous communities face in accessing and using EO data.

Speakers at the event included:

  • Diana Mastracci, GEO Indigenous Alliance “Democratizing Earth Observation data for Climate Action: the GEO Indigenous Alliance.”

  • Roxy Williams (Afro-Indigenous from the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua) Space Generation Advisory Council & Nikolina Mileva University of Augsburg “Alsut yawan tasba mainkai kai sika - Let’s protect our lands together & the “Higher Ground” winning solution, GEO Indigenous FOSS4G Hackathon”

  • Yelena Finegold, FAO, “SEPAL, an FAO open source geospatial platform and collaboration with GEO Indigenous Alliance.”

  • Saayio (Titus) Letaapo (Samburu), Sarara Foundation/GEO Indigenous Alliance “The Lopa App: incorporating in situ data with Indigenous knowledge to enable the Samburu tribe to routinely monitor their land, enhancing the community’s adaptation to climate change and improving their disaster preparedness.”

  • Mario Vargas Shakaim (Shuar), Fenshap/GEO Indigenous Alliance, “Shakaim Project: Uniting the wisdom of Indigenous knowledge with cutting edge scientific data for climate mitigation in the Amazon jungle.”

The event was a great opportunity to show how digitization is creating new opportunities to increase equitable access to EO data and tools, and how collaboration with the GEO Indigenous Alliance will be critical to ensuring that cutting-edge datasets and technologies are accessible and usable by Indigenous communities.


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