An extraordinary session of the UN Science-Policy-Business Forum on the Environment entitled “Laying the Foundations for a Global Digital Platform for Planetary Data using Frontier Technologies” was convened in Paris, on 18 and 19 October 2018.

The session, hosted by the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) and the French Alliance for Environmental Research (AllEnv), witnessed the launch of an international task-force to guide and support the establishment of a UN-backed universal digital ecosystem for planetary data, using frontier technologies.

The platform will be backed by private financing and innovative business models. The meeting was attended by representatives of top space agencies and Earth observation centres; key frontier technology giants, start-ups and entrepreneurs; top UN officials, including the President of the UN Environment Assembly; government representatives; top scientists and strategists and representatives of finance institutions.


A. Ministerial Declaration

– Submitted by Presidency of UN Environment Assembly
– Released March 2019
– Pave the way towards better policies, international cooperation, improved funding

B. Creation of a High Level Working Group on Data

– To guide and support establishment and management of universal ecosystem for planetary data

C. Pilot ‘Space Climate Observatory’

– as a potential blueprint for innovative design, collaboration and implementation

The outcome of the Special Session informed:

  • The UN World Data Forum 2018, Dubai, 22 to 24 October 2018;
  • The United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress (UNWGIC), China, from 19-21 November, 2018
  • The UN Environment Assembly, Nairobi, 11 March 2019

The meeting covered the following key subjects:

  1. Frontier Technologies: New Horizons (Focus on solutions presented by Artificial Intelligence and Block Chain technologies to access and manage planetary data)
  2. Planetary Data, Earth Observations and Remote Sensing
  3. Governance, Equity and Ethics
  4. Reinventing the Business Model: From Government and donor finance to Private finance and market-oriented project design

Meeting Documents

White Paper
White Paper
Ministerial Declaration
Ministerial Declaration
Paris Meeting Summary
Paris Meeting Summary

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