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GLOBE Leaders Discuss Projects and Progression at GLOBE 2011 Regional Meetings

Regional meetings for the Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America-Caribbean, and Near East-North Africa GLOBE regions were held on 16 July 2011 prior to the 15th GLOBE Annual Meeting that took place in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, in Bethesda, Maryland. More than 180 participants from 46 countries (including representatives from 26 U.S. states and the District of Columbia) took part in the Annual Meeting, and 23 countries participated in the preceding GLOBE Regional Meetings.

GLOBE Government Points of Contact, Country Coordinators and/or Embassy representatives who were able to attend the Regional Meeting gathered in their respective regional teams. Each region's GIAC Representative provided a summary of recent GIAC activities such as the GIAC+ meeting and other GPO priorities underway. Government Points of Contact and Country Coordinators of each attending country shared a report of GLOBE recruiting, training, mentoring and other activities within their country in the last six months. Group discussion of governance structures, as well as challenges and successes of implementation, were followed by a discussion on the status of existing committees and elections. Further topics of interests included discussion of expansion of the GLOBE scientist and alumni networks in the region. Additionally, each of the GLOBE Regional Help Desk Office representatives provided a summary of Regional Help Desk Office activities and described ways in which the office has supported the region.

The GLOBE Africa Regional Meeting team consisted of representation from five GLOBE countries which included: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Nigeria, and South Africa. In addition to the common topics of discussion for all of the GLOBE regions, highlights of the meeting for this region are as follows:

  • Logistics of the 2012 Regional Meeting in Madagascar were announced;
  • Regional Projects and planning for the SCRC, including Jabulani Games, Adopt a Drifter Program, CloudSat, and Invasive Alien Plant species Protocol were discussed;
  • Planning for Mt. Kilimanjaro Expedition, which takes place each September to study changes occurring on the mountain, was discussed. During the 9-day trek in 2010 the expedition website received over 18,700 web visits from 917 cities representing 95 countries. Over 700 questions were emailed to Base Camp with more than 100 answered from the mountain;
  • A Skype report from Yllias Lawani, GLOBE Alumni Coordinator from Benin was delivered.

The GLOBE Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting team enjoyed representation from four countries which included: India, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. In addition to the common topics of discussion for all of the GLOBE regions, highlights of the meeting for this region included:

  • The status of the committees formed at their first Regional Meeting in 2008 was discussed, in addition to ways the Regional Help Desk Office can support the efforts of the committees;
  • Tentative plans for the 2012 Regional Meeting to be held in Thailand were discussed;
  • Regional Projects and planning for the SCRC were outlined, including information about the Conference on Earth Science and Climate Change Research (Goa, India, 25-28 September 2011), CloudSat, and SCUBAnauts International (including collaborations with Thailand and Indonesia);
  • Strategic planning for the Asia-Pacific Watershed Dynamics project took place;
  • Ways to expand the Asia-Pacific alumni network in the region were discussed and the Regional Help Desk Office representative presented a report on progress made thus far.

The GLOBE Latin America-Caribbean Regional Meeting consisted of representation from nine countries in the region, which included: Argentina, Bahamas, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Uruguay. The Highlights of the meeting are as follows:

  • Planning for the 2012 Regional Meeting began and a call for interested host countries was made;
  • Planning for the SCRC and regional projects such as such as CloudSat and "Global to Local: Food and its Environment" were discussed;
  • Discussion of the "Bioindicators of Climate Migratory Birds" project took place with the assistance of GLOBE North America and LAC Alumni.

The GLOBE Near East-North Africa Regional Meeting had representation from four countries in the region. These countries included: Bahrain, Lebanon, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. Topics of discussion for this group were as follows:

  • Logistics, date, and location of the 2012 Regional Meeting in Oman were discussed;
  • Regional projects including Ocean for Life were discussed as well as planning for the SCRC;
  • Participants discussed troubleshooting for obstacles facing GLOBE implementation.

In addition to the highlighted items, each region also discussed regional communication, engagement of countries, publications and outreach, funding and sustainability initiatives in countries and regionally, strategic partnerships in countries and regionally, the annual partner survey, and accountability reporting.

Thank you to all participants from the Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America-Caribbean, and Near East-North Africa regions who attended, as well as those who presented at the meetings. We look forward to following the implementation of the exciting activities and events discussed in the coming year!

5 August 2011