Solicitation for Hosts: 2016 GOFC-GOLD Symposium


The Global Observation of Forest and Land Cover Dynamics (GOFC-GOLD) is a coordinated international effort to ensure a continuous program of space-based and in situ forest and land cover observations to better understand global change, to support international assessments and environmental treaties and to contribute to natural resources management. GOFC-GOLD encourages countries to increase their ability to measure and track forest and land cover dynamics by promoting and supporting participation on implementation teams and in regional networks. Through these forums, data users and providers share information to improve understanding of user requirements and product quality. GOFC-GOLD is a panel of the Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS), sponsored by FAO, UNESCO, WMO, ICSU and UNEP.

Two previous GOFC-GOLD Symposiums were organized in 2006 and 2008 in Jena, Germany at Friedrich Schiller University. The third GOFC-GOLD Symposium took place in 2013 in Wageningen, The Netherlands. The last Symposium provided the GOFC-GOLD community an opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues, including current challenges related to REDD+, Land Cover ECV, GEO, GLC mapping and validation activities. The Symposium also provided members of the GOFC-GOLD Implementation teams (ITs), Working Groups (WGs), and Regional Networks (RNs) an opportunity to discuss the future of the upcoming priorities and organization (structure, orientations, internal and external synergies).

Building on this history of success, we are currently seeking partners wishing to host the 4th GOFC-GOLD Symposium, tentatively planed to take place during September 2016.

Applicants should submit a formal proposal (not exceeding 5 pages), including:

  1. Brief introduction of the applicant and connection to the GOFC-GOLD Initiative
  2. Suggested dates, considering other GOFC-GOLF meetings and availability of key actors. (The symposium is expected to take place during the month of September 2016).
  3. Location of the suggested venue for the Symposium – city, state/province, country.
  4. Facilities available for the symposium
  5. Budget, including:
    1. Cost of travel, accommodation, venue etc.
    2. Cost share (in kind, or otherwise) and names of possible co-sponsors
    3. Estimated registration fees and availability of web support for registration
    4. Lodging options:
      1. Cost estimate for full-service hotels as well as inexpensive lodging options
      2. Cost estimate as well as availability of transportation (if necessary) to the venue of the symposium
  6. Recent events (conferences; symposia etc.) of a similar nature hosted by the applicant


Applicants are encouraged to consider the following key attributes of the planned symposium:

  • This will be a 5-day symposium
  • About 200 participants, travelling from all parts of the world, are expected to attend
  • There will be, in addition to, or running parallel with, plenary meetings (presentations):
    • Poster sessions
    • Side events addressing specific needs of RNs, ITs, or WK themes (land cover & land use dynamic, forest fire, biomass & agriculture)
    • Facilitated discussions (break out sessions)
    • Training sessions targeting young scientists from the RNs

Please submit your proposals to the GOFC-GOLD Executive Committee by Friday January 8, 2016 via Senay Habtezion, International START Secretariat,