GMES & Africa Phase 2: First Continental Service Workshop on Water and Natural Resources

Hosted by the African Union Commission, the first continental service workshop on water and natural resources scheduled for 13 – 15 June 2022 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Lusaka, Zambia, kicked off yesterday. This workshop aims to resolve technical issues related to the implementation of water services and natural resources and to facilitate cross-fertilisation of services among the consortia to reduce service duplication of effort/projects across the continent. 

In addition, the event follows the programme agreement between the AUC and the European Union for the GMES and Africa Phase 2, which started in January 2022, two (2) continental workshops per service would be organised for the 4-year duration of the programme. 

Furthermore, the event brought together stakeholders concerned with water services and natural resources, including the six consortia leading the implementation, stakeholders and partners, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), and European Technical Institutions, among others. Below are the six consortia implementing natural resources and water services:

S/N Consortia Theme Application
1 RCMRD Water services and natural resources
  1. Land degradation monitoring and assessment
  2. Wetlands Monitoring and Assessment
  3. Open geographical regional reference vector database (~1:1M scale) for water and agro-ecological zonings
2 CICOS Water services and natural resources
  1. Water level monitoring for river navigation
  2. Monitoring hydrological balance of the sub-basins of the Central Africa region
  3. Monitoring the dynamics of flooded areas under forests of the Central Basin
3 ICPAC Natural resources
  1. Natural habitats monitoring and assessment
  2. Tropical forest surveillance, monitoring and assessment
  3. Rangeland seasonal monitoring, early warning and assessment
4 SASSCAL Water services
  1. Wetland monitoring and assessment
5 OSS Water services and natural resources
  1. Land degradation monitoring
  2. Seasonal agriculture and irrigation monitoring
  3. Water abstraction surveillance, monitoring and assessment in irrigated areas
6 CSE Water services 
  1. Sustainable wetland and flood management in West Africa
Objectives and expected result

GMES & Africa phase 2 aims to build on the achievements of the first phase of the GMES & Africa programme. The consortia are charged with improving the existing services in their region by investigating mechanisms to ensure that the services become user-driven and sustainable at the technical and financial levels. In addition, mature services, which would demonstrate their usefulness, will be applied to other African regions based on cross-fertilisation mechanisms. Therefore, this service workshop is the ideal platform for the consortia to identify collaborative mechanisms, in line with the ultimate objective of GMES & Africa of producing services that promote the continent’s sustainable management of natural resources through the use of earth observation data and derived information.

The specific objectives of this workshop are listed below:

A. To discuss and provide solutions to the technical issues on the six pillars of GMES & Africa phase 2, including

    1. Policy and Institutional framework
    2. Infrastructure and Data
    3. Information Services
    4. Training and Capacity Development
    5. Knowledge Management
    6. Outreach, Awareness and Engagement

B. To identify cross-fertilisation mechanisms among the consortia

At the end of the three-day event, it is expected that the participants will be able to design a template for fixing technical issues related to the six pillars of GMES & Africa phase 2 and have identified the necessary cross-fertilisation mechanisms among the consortia.

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