The Mauritius Oceanography Institute (MOI), the lead institution for the GMES and Africa consortium, kick off the GMES and Africa Marine and Coastal Management Service in Mauritius, from 14 to 16 August 2019. MOI was awarded the African Union GMES and Africa grant, to provide the GMES and Africa Marine and Coastal Areas Service for the islands of the South-West Indian Ocean and countries along the East Coast of Africa.
The kick-off signifies the beginning of the operationalization of the MOI consortium of GMES and Africa, which is a joint African Union-European Union initiative providing information to policymakers, scientists, businesses and the public. The programme is an enabling mechanism designed to support the implementation of the African Space Policy and Strategy in addressing the growing needs of African countries to access and use Earth Observation (EO) data for the implementation of sustainable development policies on the continent and will impact the management of the environment and natural resources, as well as the monitoring of humanitarian operations through the integration and deployment of African requirements and needs in Copernicus Services.
The islands of the South-West Indian Ocean and countries along the East Coast of Africa are dependent on their Marine and Coastal resources for their social, economic and ecological value. Fisheries management, a better understanding of marine and coastal ecosystems, monitoring and control of illegal fishing, climate change impact monitoring and forecasting of extreme weather events are some of the main concerns. The Marine and Coastal Service for the East Africa region will provide information about the biological and physical state and dynamics of the ocean, fishing grounds, marine ecosystems for the regional seas, coastal vulnerability, sea state forecasts, thereby supporting marine and coastal management activities and adaptation strategies.
Honourable Premdut Koonjoo, Minister for Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, officially opened the kick-off workshop. During the opening session
Dr Ruby Moothien Pillay, Director of MOI, Mr Prem Saddul, Chairman of MOI Board, Mrs Gina Bonne, Chargée de Mission, Indian Ocean Commission, Mr Massimiliano Messi, Team Leader and Second Secretary, European Union Delegation to the Republic of Mauritius, delivered statements.
MOI is committed to delivering Earth Observation (EO) derived Marine and Coastal Services in partnering with the Tanzania Fisheries and Research Institute, Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kenya, Institut Halieutique et des Sciences Marines of Madagascar, Seychelles Meteorological Authority, Seychelles, and the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association of Tanzania.
The GMES and Africa Marine and Coastal Management for East Africa use both EO and in situ data to generate information; conduct analysis and forecasts that will eventually help institutions and decision/policymakers to observe, understand, anticipate and make better use of marine-related resources. Thus, mandated institutions in the East Africa consortium region will be able to promote more sustainable management of marine and coastal resources.
The consortium’s eventual objectives include providing fishers with early warning information on the state of the ocean to protect lives at sea, as well as making data available to the scientific community and relevant stakeholders for decision making such as in cases of coral bleaching, Harmful Algal Bloom and storm surges, amongst others. It seeks to avail periodic potential fishing zone maps and proposed areas for surveillance patrols and warning bulletins for Harmful Algal Blooms and provide vulnerability assessment of the coastlines of selected regions with the production of shoreline change maps.
GMES and Africa provided this press release. See the original publication
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