CNES CEOS Chair 2022: “Paths to Sustainability: from strategy to practical measures”

At the conclusion of the 2021 CEOS Plenary in November, the Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES) of France assumed the role of Chair of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) for 2022. As is customary for a CEOS Chair, CNES has developed a set of priorities for the term as CEOS Chair.

CNES last chaired CEOS back in 1997. CEOS, and the world, has changed significantly over the 25 years since. CEOS has accomplished a great deal of work on the coordination of national EO satellite observation programmes, promoting free and open data principles, and helping society make the most of the unique data provided by EO satellites. Various CEOS strategies have been implemented to respond to the most pressing global issues, most recently in response to the Paris Climate Agreement, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Under the banner of “Paths to Sustainability: from strategy to practical measures” CNES aims to further increase CEOS impact by:

  1. Increasing emphasis on the evolution of various CEOS R&D and demonstration activities into operational applications and services for society, with a particular focus on disaster risk reduction and management and climate activities.
  2. Improving community understanding and appreciation of how EO data may help their information challenges.
  3. Supporting key CEOS and community initiatives related to the UNFCCC Global Stocktake, including on agriculture, forestry and other land uses, noting the critical importance of satellite Earth observations for the global response to the climate crisis.
  4. Initiating new and complementary activities, including further cooperation on satellite Earth observation calibration and validation, including development of multi-thematic calibration and validation sites.
  5. Establishing a new cooperation for a CEOS protocol to support the cross-calibration of thermal infrared measurements from future CEOS Agency missions, in particular those missions identified as key for Surface Biology and Geology (SBG).

These priorities have been formulated in consideration of the NASA 2021 CEOS Chair priority: “Space-based Earth Observation Data for Open Science and Decision Support”, and seek to support the SIT Chair priorities of carbon and biomass; creating new opportunities for EO space agencies; and fostering the development and use of innovative digital services.

The CNES CEOS Chair Team thanks the CEOS community for the opportunity to serve as Chair in 2022 and hopes that these themes and priorities provide the scope for all CEOS Agencies to contribute and benefit from the platform that the CEOS Chair priorities provide. It is hoped that this year will bring together and elevate numerous activities already ongoing in CEOS and create an even greater positive impact for society.

Note: CNES opens SPOT World Heritage data to the world (

CNES is proud to announce that over 19M€ images acquired by the SPOT family of satellites during their 30year mission starting in 1986 are now available for download from the Toulouse Space Centre.  We are currently working with our CEOS colleagues to define how it will be possible to provide “CEOS Analysis Ready Data for Land” (CARD4L) products also.



Dr. Selma Cherchali

CNES, 2022 CEOS Chair