Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It is my great pleasure to welcome you, on behalf of the Organizing Committee, to the 31st International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment. Focused this time on Global Monitoring for Sustainability and Security, the Symposium will be held from 20-24 May, 2005. This is the first time that Russia hosts the ISRSE with a venue of Saint Petersburg, one of the most beautiful cities of this country.

On behalf of the organizers of the Symposium, namely, the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, International Centre for Remote Sensing of Environment, Nansen International Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre, Russian Federal Space Agency and St. Petersburg University I would like to emphasize the great support which we have received from the members of the Program and Organizing Committees as well as from ESA, ROSCOSMOS, Norwegian Space Centre, INTAS and some other organizations.

The Program Committee has developed an impressive technical program accommodating both the traditional for the ISRSE symposia themes and such new issues having great importance for Russia as Northern Eurasia terrestrial ecosystems, environmental processes and climate change in the Arctic Ocean and the Baltic Sea and some others. In general, the Symposium Program is focused on the implementation of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) and its societal benefits. We hope that the participants of the 31st ISRSE will enjoy both the oral and poster presentations as well as the pre- symposium workshops. The attendees will also have a opportunity of getting acquainted with the GEOSS 10-year Implementation Plan.

We are happy that St. Petersburg has been chosen to host the 31st ISRSE. Our city was founded by Peter the Great and intended as a “Window to Europe”. Many people of different nationalities contributed to the development of St. Petersburg. It is believed by many to be a most “European” city of Russia, and stunningly delightful for its unique architectural ensembles and unparalleled treasures of its numerous museums. Two years ago our city celebrated its 300 anniversary.

Saint Petersburg is one of the largest Russian scientific and industrial centers. Holding of the 31st ISRSE in St. Petersburg provides a good opportunity for Russian scientists to take part in the Symposium, as well as to showcase the achievements of Russian specialists in remote sensing of environment.

We hope that the 31st convocation of the ISRSE, which is turning to its fourth decade, will be successful. We are trying our best to arrange interesting scientific and cultural programs for you, your relatives and friends accompanying you in this journey, to make this week in St. Petersburg pleasant and also in order to inspire you to come back to Saint Petersburg and to Russia again. Please enjoy social events arranged for the guests and participants of the Symposium.

Welcome to Saint Petersburg!

Dr. Leonid P. Bobylev
Chairman of the Organizing Committee, 31st ISRSE
Nansen International Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre

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