GGO and ELSTAT join forces to use Earth observation in official statistics


The interested parties were remotely gathered on 18 February 2021, as dictated by the pandemic restrictions, to formalize the substantial initialization of a Memorandum of Cooperation, whose signature was completed on 30 December 2020.

The President of the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), Dr. Athanasios C. Thanopoulos, the President of the National Observatory of Athens (NOA), Prof. Emmanouil Plionis, the Director of the Greek Group of Earth Observation Office (GGO) Dr. Evangelos Gerasopoulos, and the National Representative at the Group of Earth Observation (GEO), Prof. Christos Zerefos, signed the Memorandum of Cooperation, in full compliance with the current trend and need of integrating geospatial information with socio-economic data, in support of official reporting of national and European statistical indicators, as well as of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

«The development, production and dissemination of statistics by utilizing Earth observation data is the most modern, but also the most comprehensive and intuitive way for analysing and depicting statistical information, giving special added value to the statistical product» mentioned Dr. Athanasios C. Thanopoulos.

According to Prof. Emmanouil Plionis «The cooperation initiated between NOA and ELSTAT is in the context of a rigorous policy of NOA for developing synergies, at national level, on issues related to the combat against Climate Change and its impact, an important tool towards this direction being the collection and statistical processing of large amounts of Earth observation data, but also of social and economic parameters».

«With this Memorandum of Cooperation, Greece is automatically among the first countries to initiate such cooperation systematically, while facilitating the transfer of know-how and the adoption of good practices, within and across border» said Dr. Evangelos Gerasopoulos.

«The framework for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals in the United Nations 2030 Agenda is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the added value of the combined use of statistical, socio-economic and Earth observation data, assisting Greece to fulfil its obligations to monitor the relevant indicators» pointed out Prof. Christos Zerefos.

This joint task force aims at the establishment of relevant methodologies, knowledge sharing, and pilot testing taking advantage of Earth observation data and information for specific statistical indicators. The memorandum will contribute towards the development of common research proposals, communication actions to inform stakeholders, and relevant pilot applications.

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