Geostatistics: The Global Perspective
Lars H. Backer
The European Forum for Geostatistics (EFGS), Stockholm, Sweden

The Earth is subject to two parallel evolutionary processes; one natural and the other artificial (manmade). Mans ability to overrule, and even destroy major natural systems is now seriously threatening the prospects for future generations, but may also offer ways out of this impasse. The challenge of our age is to work consciously according to ecological principles; with nature, not against it.

The European Forum for Geostatistics (EFGS) is an European Organisation of European National Statistical Institutes (NSI's) dedicated to the building of infrastructures for and of spatial statistics that may serve a Global Geographic Integrated Informational System of Systems (GGIISS) required for sustainable development on all scale-intervals from Global to Local.

The principle “If you cannot describe it, you cannot manage it”,makes a GGIISS is indispensable for all efficient and concrete public actions. on to meet challenges like over-population, resource constraints and global warming.

With this presentation, paper and initiative, the EFGS seeks to make two interrelated points. he first by presenting a concrete proposal for how a GGIISS can be developed from existing datasets. The second to address what is called “the problem with statistics”, that points to the fact that that traditional statistics aggregated to administrative areas are useless for meeting growing needs for reliable spatial analysis for the integrated development of human societies and habitats.

In order to develop an efficient GGIISS that may be used to perform spatial analysis, the global community will need to create a harmonised point- based foundation for statistics that may be aggregated to a neutral system of spatial units. For this purpose the EFGS propose the general use of square km (1000m)- and/or a 30 arc second- grids.

To reach this end, the EFGS is working on a project proposal that will pursue this goal through a triple academia- led “top-down” (disaggregation or downscaling) an NSI-lead “bottom-up” (aggregation or up-scaling), and a shared integration, strategy.