Highlight of the 3rd AfriGEOSS Symposium ongoing in Gabon

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The 3rd AfriGEOSS Symposium which started today is being hosted by the Agence Gabonaise d’Etudes et d’Observations Spatiales (AGEOS) .

Together, the GEO community is creating a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) to better integrate observing systems and share data by connecting existing infrastructures using common standards. There are more than 400 million open data resources in GEOSS from more than 150 national and regional providers such as NASA and ESA; international organizations such as WMO and the commercial sector such as Digital Globe.

The African segment of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) is currently having its annual Week (AfriGEOSS Week) in Gabon which started on Friday 22 June and will end on Friday 29 June 2018.

GEO’s mission is to connect the demand for sound and timely environmental information with the supply of data and information about the Earth. Advocacy for broad, open data policies helps ensure that the data collected through national, regional and global observing systems is both made available and applied to decision-making for global priorities including The Sustainable Development Goals, The Paris Agreement on climate change, The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and Aichi Targets of The Convention on Biodiversity.

The 3rd AfriGEOSS Week and Symposium is building on the success and outcomes of the 2017 AfriGEOSS Symposium (Sunyani), and aims to:

  • Engage with end users, particularly policy and decision makers, to understand information needs for evidence-based policy-making and raise awareness on the value of Earth observations in meeting those needs;
  • Showcase the use of Earth observations in implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and development policies at national and regional levels;
  • Reinforce dialogue on Earth observations priorities in Africa and promote or build synergies with ongoing and planned Earth observations initiatives at the national, regional and international levels – to draw linkages with the implementation of the African Space Policy according to development policies;
  • Strengthen regional and national thematic Earth observations coordination mechanisms to broaden African participation in the Group on Earth Observations and AfriGEOSS activities; and
  • Review the implementation of the 2017 AfriGEOSS Symposium outcomes and contributions, and establish a mechanism of Monitoring and Evaluation for the future.

The event program is built on broad thematic areas covering priorities in Africa as identified in the AfriGEOSS 2017 – 2019 implementation plan, as well as responses to the GEO priority engagement areas; the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Technical sessions will cover the following:

  1. Status of sustainable development issues and Earth observations implementation in Africa
  2. End User needs and expectations
  3. National and regional Earth observations Coordination landscapes
  4. Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture
  5. Water Resource Management, including soil moisture
  6. Land Cover and Sustainable Forest and Biodiversity Management in Africa
  7. Sustainable Urban Development
  8. Climate Services for Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience
  9. Shared Spatial Data Infrastructure and innovative techniques, including space and in-situ observing systems
  10. Increasing the contribution of Earth observations in development policies implementation
  11. Engagement with commercial sector

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