Welcome Address to GEO by Dr Lars Prahm - Director General of EUMETSAT.

5th July 2007

On behalf of EUMETSAT, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to welcome GEO members to the EUMETSAT Headquarters and Operational Centre.

EUMETSAT through its provision of meteorological satellites represents a key component of the Global Observing System. EUMETSAT as a European satellite operator and data provider plays a crucial role in the delivery of environmental data which is used for all forms of meteorology and climate monitoring.

In a time where we more frequently see the impact of climate change in our every day lives, the GEO members' contribution, in bringing Earth observation data to the man-in-the-street is most welcome. GEO has made a significant contribution to the success of the 'low cost' EUMETCast reception station - I know that many members of GEO swell our ever increasing numbers of private users of Meteosat and Metop data and products.

Your interest, enthusiasm and passion for satellite imagery and all forms of Earth observation data is clear to see.

I regularly receive and read your Quarterly journal and I find many articles both interesting and informative. The quality of the input from a non-funded, voluntary organisation, such as GEO is to be highly commended. My colleagues and I also appreciate the many positive comments you attribute to EUMETSAT and our satellite missions in the many articles you prepare.

I trust the Agenda prepared for you today will allow you to gain further insight into our planned activities and additionally, I hope that you will go away today with a greater understanding of the use and application of some of the data and products EUMETSAT provides to the user community at large. The tour of our Control Centre facilities will allow you to experience at first-hand the 'nerve-centre' of EUMETSAT's operational activities.

I see that you are using your time in Germany wisely - I am very pleased to learn that you have organised a visit tomorrow morning to the Usingen Ground Station and that you intend to round off your trip to Darmstadt with a visit to ESA-ESOC.

Once again, thank you for your interest in visiting EUMETSAT and your continued commitment to the promotion of Earth observation data for the amateur user. It only remains for me to wish you a very successful and enjoyable visit.

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