GEO Update

Earth Observations For the Africa We Want

AfriGEOSS Symposium Objectives on a slide

A symposium April 27 to 29, 2016 in Zimbabwe offers an opportunity for experts in environmental and development planning, disaster risk reduction and food security to unlock the power of Earth observation tools to make better decisions.

Earth observations – that is satellite photos and remote sensing data, as well as measurements from ocean, land and atmospheric stations – can show real time and historic weather, vegetation, water and population patterns. These can help make decisions from disaster recovery to long term planning.

The Group on Earth Observations is promoting access to freely available data and information. Already, 27 GEO Member states from the African continent are improving their countries’ capacity to access the wealth of datasets on offer.

African Heads of State adopted the Africa Space Policy and Strategy, at the 26th African Union (AU) Summit held in January, 2016. GEO’s coordination programme for Africa, AfriGEOSS, is working to mobilize the Earth Observation community to contribute to the implementation of the Space Policy and Strategy and help to formalize an African Outer Space Programme for the benefit of society.

Knowledge derived from space science helps to inform plans and monitor the environment; manage the use of natural resources; provides early warning of and managing natural disasters; and support education and health services in rural areas.

These areas of knowledge will be explored by experts at the AfriGEOSS Symposium 2016 through existing tools and governance structures as follows:

  • Towards a harmonized land cover for Africa with medium and high resolution in support of Environmental management.
  • Monitoring of tropical forests to measure report and verify deforestation and the effect on carbon gas emissions.
  • Earth observation-based crop yield estimation, crop growth and production monitoring and forecasting systems for countries in Africa.

For more information and to register for the AfriGEOSS symposium click here.