Highlight of the €13 million projects funded by GMES & Africa

GMES and Africa Support Programme is a €30 million joint Programme co-financed by the European Commission and the African Union Commission. It will use and adapt the Copernicus Programme data and services in the African context. It is designed to specifically respond to African needs with respect to services related to water, natural resources, marine and coastal areas and to address the global needs to manage the environment, mitigate climate change and ensure civil security. It is to enable the implementation of the African Space Policy and Strategy, formulated to harness the continent’s capabilities in utilizing space science and technology for economic growth and sustainable development. In the implementation agreement, the African Union Commission is the ‘delegated authority’ responsible for the management of the programme.

The African Union Commission (AUC) had earlier awarded grants to thirteen successful consortia of institutions that will serve as Regional Implementing Centres for the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa (GMES and Africa) Support Programme. Following a Call for Proposals in May 2017, a number of African institutions operating in the areas of water, natural resources, marine and coastal areas, applied for the GMES and Africa Support Programme Grants.

To evaluate the applications and select the most suitable consortia of institutions that submitted proposals, the African Union Commission instituted a committee supported by a team of assessors comprising African earth observation experts.

Thirteen consortia of institutions were finally selected and the award marks the official announcement of their selection which include:
  1. Central Africa: Agence Gabonaise d’Etudes et d’Observations Spatiale (AGEOS) and Commission Internationale du Bassin Congo-Oubangui-Sangha (CICOS) for Water and natural resources service.
  2. East Africa: IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC) and Regional Centre for Mapping off Resources for Development (RCMRD) for Water and natural resources service; Mauritius Oceanography Institute (MOI) for Marine and coastal areas service
  3. North Africa: National Authority for Remote Sensing & Space Sciences (NARSS) for marine and coastal area service; Observatoire du Sahara et du Sahel (OSS) for water and natural ressources service
  4. Southern Africa: Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for marine and coastal areas service; Southern African Development Community Climate Services Centre (SADC-CSC) and Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) for water and natural resources service
  5. West Africa: Centre de Suivi Ecologique (CSE) and Obafemi Awolowo University; Ile-Ife, Nigeria (CSSTE-Obafemi) for water and natural resources service; University of Ghana (UG) for Marine and coastal areas service
At the award ceremony, held on the margins of the 5th AU-EU Summit in Abidjan, Cote d`Ivoire. the Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology at the African Union Commission, Professor Sarah Anyang Agbor, felicitated the successful institutions on their selection, which she said was based on their experience and proven capacities. She implored them to deliver the goods, and promised the African Union Commission’s unflinching support.
On June 12 2018, the African Union Commission signed a cooperation arrangement with the European Commission in the area of Earth Observation data access from the Sentinel Satellites of the Copernicus in Brussels, Belgium at the premises of the European Commission Directorate- General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG-GROWTH).
Signing ceremony of cooperation arrangement between the AUC and EC

Few months after this, the 1st Forum of the GMES and Africa kicked off in the Gabonese capital, Libreville. More than 400 delegates from Africa, Europe and other parts of the world gathered to discuss new and innovative Earth Observation technologies supporting Africa’s socio-economic development. Organized jointly by the African Union Commission and the government of Gabon, the Forum is the first gathering of all stakeholders involved in the GMES and Africa programme.

High Level Panel Discussion

Below, we highlight each of the projects being funded by GMES & Africa across the continent.

Marine and Coastal Areas Management in West Africa

Implemented by the ECOWAS Coastal and Marine Resources Management Centre at the University of Ghana, the Centre is responsible for coordinating activities that utilize earth observation data from satellite to help manage fisheries resources, and also provide early warning information on ocean conditions for the benefit of artisanal fishers. The Centre is one of six Regional Centers of Excellence which is implementing the Pan-African programme on Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (MESA). The Centre was established jointly by ECOWAS, the African Union Commission, and European Commission at the University of Ghana.

The Regional Marine Centre, University of Ghana, launched the Marine and Coastal Areas Management in Western Africa, of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) in Africa in October 2018.

The GMES and Africa Workshop on Marine and Coastal Areas Services is scheduled to be held from 16 to 20 September 2019, Cape Town, South Africa.. Save the date!

Multi-scale Flood Monitoring and Assessment Services for West Africa (MiFMASS)

Multi-Scale Flood Monitoring and Assessment Services for West Africa (MiFMASS) is one of the actions under the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa (GMES & AFRICA). The Centre for Space Science and Technology Education (CSSTE) located within Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, is one of the grant recipients of GMES & AFRICA support programme. Under this support programme, CSSTE will be managing Multi-Scale Flood Monitoring and Assessment Services for West Africa using Earth Observation satellite data.

The overall objective of the project is “to enhance the efficiency of flood monitoring, assessment and management in West Africa by providing Earth Observation (EO) based services on real time basis to disaster management organizations and boosting their human capacity to adapt to their services”.

Sustainable Wetland management for enhancing food security and ecosystem resilience in West Africa

The objective of this project is to develop and promote a portfolio of products and services based on the exploitation of scientific data. It is designed to specifically address African needs for services related to water, natural resources, marine and coastal areas and to meet global needs for environmental management and climate change mitigation.

To achieve the objectives, this project is being funded with close to €2 million. The project will be managed for 36 months by the Ecological Monitoring Centre, based in Dakar.

Marine and Coastal Management in East Africa

The overall objective for the action is to promote a more sustainable management of marine and coastal resources by improving decision making process through provision of additional pertinent information to mandated institutions in the East Africa region. Geographically, the action covers Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Comoros and to promote a more sustainable management of marine and coastal resources by improving decision making process through provision of additional pertinent information to mandated institutions in the East Africa region.The beneficiaries are the Fishermen Communities, Policy & Decision Makers, Researchers and ultimately vulnerable populations in the different countries.

The objective is to strengthen the policy framework to ensure an active and sustainable participation of East African stakeholders in the global environmental surveillance and security initiatives. The idea is to develop collaboration and cooperation among regions on the African continent and with European partners, in the interest of synergized, efficient and integrated information services on a continental scale

It is foreseen that the successful implementation of the project will lead to the following expected results:

  • Network of receiving stations in East Africa are improved and wave data network extended: Reliable access to environmental data (Ph, Sea Surface Temperature, chlorophyll, water quality…) is critical for decision making.
  • Existing operational applications are consolidated, and two new applications developed for the management of marine and coastal areas
  • Enhanced collaboration with RICs having similar thematic interests and other institutions in the region
  • Strengthened policy framework to ensure an active and sustainable participation of East Africa in the global environmental surveillance and security initiatives.
  • Increased technical capacity at national and regional levels to produce and apply EO-based and in-situ information.

Main services to be proposed to beneficiary countries:

  • Monitoring and forecasting of physical and biological oceanography variables;
  • Fishing Zones Monitoring and Protection;
  • Aquaculture Site Monitoring and Protection;
  • Coastal Vulnerability;
  • Coastal Ecosystems Mapping,
  • Monitoring and Assessment; and 3 days Marine Weather Forecast

Monitoring Natural Resources and Food Security in Eastern Africa Region

The Eastern Africa region is frequently affected by food shortages and pockets of hunger although the region as a whole has a huge potential and capacity to produce enough food for regional consumption and a large surplus for export to the world market. There are many factors leading to this state of affairs but the most critical are: (i) inadequate food exchange/trade between times and/or places of abundant harvest on one hand, and those with deficit on the other; and (ii) high variability in production caused by high variability of weather which is becoming worse due to climate change.

One of the main objectives of the Eastern Africa Region as set out in the Treaty is the achievement of food security and rational agricultural production. The Eastern Africa Region Food Security Action Plan will guide coordination and implementation of the joint programmes and projects emanating from this plan.

The Action Plan is organized into four sections. Section one contains the introduction which highlights the background to the development of the Eastern Africa Region food security action plan and the constraints in achieving food security in the Eastern Africa Region. Section two describes the contexts for the Eastern Africa Region food security action plan. Section three provides for the priority areas for the Eastern Africa Region food security action plan while Section four provides detailed action plans which include implementation and coordination arrangements, monitoring and evaluation and resource mobilization for implementation of the Plan.

The Plan shall be implemented and the Sectoral Council of Ministers Responsible for Agriculture and Food Security will guide its implementation. For its effective and efficient implementation, it will be necessary to strengthen the capacity of the Eastern Africa Region Secretariat to coordinate the implementation of the joint programmes and projects emanating from this plan.

The Eastern Africa Region Secretariat in collaboration with Partner States will draw up a detailed annual work plan indicating financial requirements based on objectives identified in the Action Plan. The implementation of the plan will be phased starting with the crucial strategic interventions. The plans will be financed by the Community, Development Partners and investors

Earth Observation for Sustainable Land and Water Management – GMES in North Africa

In the Framework of GMES & Africa Programme, the Sahara and Sahel Observatory organized the kick off workshop of project “Earth Observation for Sustainable Land and Water Management in North Africa ” in October in Tunis.

The workshop aims to introduce the project approach, planned activities and expected results. It will allow broader stakeholders to establish operational planning for national and regional activities, and to agree on technical approaches and implementation strategies for project activities.

The EO- SLWM/NA project, is coordinated by OSS, in partnership with key institutions devoted to the promotion and the development of remote sensing.

For the national level, namely Algerian Space Agency (ASAL), based in Algiers (ALGERIA), Desert Research Center (DRC), based in Cairo (EGYPT), Libyan Center for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (LCRSSS), based in Tripoli (LIBYA), Royal Center for Remote Sensing Space (CRTS), based in Rabat (MOROCCO), University of Technology and Medicine Sciences (USTM), Nouakchott, MAURITANIA and the National Center for Cartography and Remote Sensing (CNCT), based in Tunis (TUNISIA).

For the sub-regional level: African Regional Center for Space Science and Technology in French Language affiliated to the UN (CRASTE-LF), based in Rabat (MOROCCO), Regional Remote Sensing Center for North African States (CRTEAN), based in Tunis (TUNISIA).

Co-Financed by the European Commission and the African Union for a period of 3 years (2018 – 2021), the project aims to provide Earth Observation data and technology-based products and services to support decision-making in the field of sustainable management of natural resources and water.

More specifically, it aims to:

  • Develop and sustain decision support services
  • Boost regional cooperation and promote the exchange of know-how
  • Build capacity and raise awareness among all partners and users.

Services to be developed by the project:

  • Water Abstraction Surveillance, Monitoring and Assessment in Irrigated Areas
  • Land Degradation Monitoring and Assessment
  • Agriculture Seasonal Monitoring, Early Warning and Assessment

The GMES and Africa is the crystallization of the longstanding cooperation between the European Commission and the African Union Commission. The Programme uses and adapts the Copernicus Programme data and services to the African context. Its overall objective is to promote more sustainable management of natural resources by building technical and institutional capacity in Africa to use Earth Observation data for policy-making. In the implementation agreement, the African Union Commission is the ‘delegated authority’ responsible for the management of the programme.

Developing an Earth observation operational application for coastal ecosystems mapping, monitoring and assessment of the Northern African coastal zone – NAFCOAST

Geographically, the action covers mainly Northern Africa (Egypt – Mediterranean and Red Sea coastal zone, Tunisia – Mediterranean coastal zone, Morocco – Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean coastal zone and Mauritania – Atlantic coastal zone). The beneficiaries are Coastal development organizations, Marine and fisheries organizations and Local authorities.

The project objective is to develop an operational tool for Coastal Ecosystems Mapping, Monitoring and Assessment of the northern African countries based on time series of earth observation data that support local community in social and economic development.

Expected results relate to:

  • Quantification of the area of the coastal ecosystem categories and maps of the socio-economic value of these ecosystems
  • Vulnerability maps of these ecosystems to both natural and environmental hazards, including climate change
  • Integration of these ecosystems and the coastal human infrastructures and activities.
  • Geoportal of the Northern African countries data
  • APIs and tools to generate services to the stakeholder, beneficiaries and end users.
  • Regular and updated maps of the physical coastal ecosystems
  • Regular and updated maps of the biological coastal ecosystems,

Therefore, specific services will be developed:

  • Mapping physical ecosystems including the shoreline in the northern coastal zone of the African countries member in the project. And Monitoring and forecasting of physical and biological oceanography variables
  • Mapping Biological components including the shoreline to categorize and obtain all the biological

categories in the northern coastal zone of the African countries member in the project.

  • Monitoring of Vulnerability, risk assessment and hot spots to identify the coastal geohazard and
  • create vulnerability and risk maps including hotspots
  • The application to be addressed will be Coastal Vulnerability; Coastal Ecosystems Mapping, Monitoring and Assessment.

GMES & Africa Programme aim is at improving African policy-makers’, planners’, scientists’, business and private sector and citizens’ capacities to design, implement, and monitor national, regional and continental policies and to promote sustainable management of natural resources through the use of Earth Observation data and derived information.

The GMES and Africa Workshop on Water and Natural Resources Services is scheduled to be held from 6 to 10 May 2019, in Dakar, Senegal. Save the date!

 



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