Select Committee on Science and Technology Written Evidence

Annex A


  The following table summarises the range of groups that Defra convenes or are involved with that have a link directly or indirectly to space.

  Green shading—direct relevance to space

  Yellow shading—indirect relevance to space.

  The table summarises:

    —  Purpose of the group.

    —  Defra policy lead.

    —  Defra group representative.

    —  Comments on current status of group and issues associated with it.

Purpose of group
Defra policy lead
Defra representative

BNSC groups
Space Advisory Council
Forum of government departments, RC's and lobby groups to advise BNSC Space Board on space-related issues.
Andy Shaw (for Catherine Boyle)
Broad brush agenda with little of direct relevance to Defra.
Earth Observation Programme Board
Advisory board to BNSC on Earth Observation matters.
Andy Shaw/John Harmer
Suffers from two things:
1.  Lack of a defined There is no Earth Observation "programme".
2.  It does tend to get dominated by industry lobby to DTI/BNSC.
European Union Advisory Board
Advisory board to BNSC on European space matters in the context of emerging European space policy.
Unclear, both SESDG and EISD have sent attendees.
Andy Shaw/John Harmer.
Interest to Defra via GMES, a joint EC-ESA programme with a strong space component. GMES seen as a pillar of European space policy.
GMES—European Commission
GMES Advisory Council
Council of Members States responsible for advising the EC on the objectives, governance and funding of GMES.
Robert Lowson
GAC meets approximately every 6 months. Experience suggest meetings are poorly managed with lack of focus on key agenda items and constant overruns.
GMES Programme Board
Core group of HMG departments responsible for UK policy on GMES.
John Harmer
Main group for determining HMG policy and strategy on GMES. Hampered by differences over objectives and funding responsibility but things improving.
GMES Cross-Whitehall Group
Wider HMG group of parties interested in GMES.
John Harmer
Has not met for a while as GMES PB discuss next stages of GMES programme and implications for UK. Other government departments need convincing why GMES is important for them.
GEO Plenary
High level meeting of signatories to the GEO declaration.
David Warrilow/
Cathy Johnson
Next plenary likely to be attended by BNSC, NERC and Met Office. Defra has policy lead but uncertain what Defra interests are.
GEO Working Groups
Various working groups exist in accordance with the GEO Work Plan and governance arrangements.
David Warrilow/
Cathy Johnson In reality, responsibility has been devolved to the UK Met Office who are keen to act as UK representatives.
Similar issue to that raised above. GEO tackles 9 societal benefit areas including but not limited to climate. Therefore GA have difficulty in representing all Defra interests. Likely that other policy groups are unclear about relevance of GEO to them.
AATSR groups
Various technical groups responsible for AATSR science programme.
Managed by GA as part of the suite of AATSR related contracts.
European Space Agency
Programme Board—Earth Observation
Meeting ESA Member States to oversee and advise on ESA's Earth Observation programmes (including but not limited to GMES).
None. BNSC hold lead on UK PB-EO attendance.
Ian Davidson is attending the next PBEO with BNSC colleagues.
Need to decide whether PB-EO has long term interest to Defra and which division should be responsible for attendance.
Global Environmental Change Committee (GECC)
GECC Observations Sub-group
Advises Defra on issues related to all forms of observation, including EO to a certain extent.
Cathy Johnson
Group has consistently raised the point that funding for critical long term datasets is problematic. Some attention paid to EO, but not to any great extent.
GECC Global Environmental Research (GER)
Advisory committee on issues related to global environmental research
Cathy Johnson
Not directly space relevant but starting to tackle issues related to EO.
GECC Global Biodiversity Sub
Advisory committee on issues related to global biodiversity
Miles Parker chairs
Not directly space relevant but starting to tackle issues related to EO. Importance of GEOSS to DIVERSITAS has been mentioned.

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Prepared 17 July 2007