The National Earth Observations and Space Secretariat (NEOSS) is an initiative of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), that is hosted and managed by the CSIR.


NEOSS is pleased to invite interested individuals and organisations to join and take part in the South African Group on Earth Observation (SA-GEO), South African Group on Satellite Communications (SA-GSC) and South African Group on Satellite Navigations forums. These forums aim to serve the Earth Observations, Satellite Communications and Satellite Navigations groups through Communities of Practice (CoP). Join Now


About the CoPs

GEO describes a CoP as a “user-led community of stakeholders, from providers to the final beneficiaries of Earth observation data and information, with a common interest in specific aspects of societal benefits”. NEOSS views a CoP as “an association of volunteers, supported by their employer organisations, who contribute collectively to an activity or task to achieve a common objective in a specific societal benefit area or area of expertise”. The CoP’s cover topics in different Societal Benefit Areas (SBAs), Community Supportive Areas (CSA) and unique areas of space expertise in Earth observation, satellite navigation and communications, which may include amongst others the following CoPs:

Agriculture and Food Security

This CoP is dedicated to promoting the use of Earth Observations data to monitor trends in the natural environment, including weather and climate, freshwater supplies, soil moisture and other variables, as well as, sharing best practise in providing holistic and up-to-date information for these activities to support decision making processes in Agriculture and identify current or propose new initiatives for uptake by the community.

Circular Economy and Natural Resources Management

This COP is dedicated to creating knowledge and understanding of circular economy models / research and use of Earth Observations and satellite data or technologies to support efficient management and monitoring of natural resources i.e water, soil as well as, propose circular economy research themes and solutions or initiatives for making progress in sustainable development, identify barriers and develop approaches to mitigate them.

Climate Action

This CoP is dedicated to advancing knowledge and action in the area of climate change adaptation, including sharing of ideas and information to encourage the mainstreaming of adaptation into decision-making frameworks.


Data Governance

This CoP is dedicated to promoting data governance and developing general principles for facilitating and enhancing access to and the uptake of earth observation data and formation by a wide range of user communities, in a coherent manner and provide guidance and best practices on standards such as data openness, transparency, stakeholder engagement, intellectual property rights (IPR).

EO Infrastructure

This CoP is dedicated to promoting the current efforts and activities leading towards the integration, harmonisation, interoperability and dissemination of data, derived products and services and decision support systems activities, through utilization of relevant data infrastructures.


Satellite communications and Navigations

This CoP is dedicated to promoting the use of satellite communications and navigations to deliver useful digital services to navigate, make decisions, or communicate in new ways and propose approaches to advance policy discussions leading towards support and identification of programmes and initiatives relevant to advance community interests

Structure and participation

Each CoP may have a minimum of two co-chairs, with knowledge and expertise in a specific field of interest. Participation is voluntary and open to individuals and organisations that are involved in space science and technology, who participate with the support and sanction of their employer organisation. The CoPs determine work–plans and outcomes for a 12-36-month period. Outcomes might include new findings based on research, position statements on trends, user requirements, policy recommendations, tools or strategies for stronger engagement and collaboration on initiatives.


The CoPs meet formally at least once a year, and informally as and when the co-chairs consider appropriate depending on identified targets. For convenience, COVID 19 impacts and cost-containment measures, face to face meetings will be conducted in conjunction with other gatherings such as the Integrated COP Workshops or Annual symposiums. Meeting sessions for the CoPs will commence from October 2021.

Details about the CoP meetings will be made available soon. Only registered participants will be contacted. Please Feel free to invite other potential members by sharing the invite.


Switchboard: +27 12 843 6300
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(CSIR South Gate Entrance)  
Meiring Naudé Road, Brummeria  
Private Bag X894, Pretoria
South Africa
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