SASSCAL to Hold Regional Stakeholder Workshop on Earth Observation Technology

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The Southern African Science Service Center for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) is holding a hybrid (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) GMES and Africa Regional Workshop from 27 to 29 September at the Safari Hotel in Windhoek, Namibia.

GMES and Africa Initiative is a program formed on the basis of mutual cooperation between Africa and Europe with a focus on Earth observation systems (EO) in collaboration with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

Ester Nakanduungile, Communications and Marketing Officer at SASSCAL, said the program was designed to meet the global need to manage the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security by providing information to policymakers, researchers, the private sector and the public sector.

“GMES and Africa aim to promote the development of local capacity, institutional, human and technical resources for access to and exploitation of Earth observation (EO) -based services on an operational basis for sustainable development in Africa,” she added.

She said the workshop would provide opportunities to promote and encourage mutual exchange in sharing best practices, knowledge and experiences, and provide opportunities to exchange information and knowledge on new and innovative Earth observation technologies developed under the programs and their adaptation to regional strategies for sustainable development.

“The workshop also reveals trends in the use of soil observation data for wetland monitoring and assessment, threats to the sustainable use of wetland resources and updating stakeholders on how climate change and drought are constantly affecting sub-Saharan Africa’s surface water resources,” she said.

Nakanduungile said the workshop focus would be to ensure shared knowledge and understanding of the new and innovative Earth observation technologies and their application to society.

SASSCAL expects a broader pool of international delegates from the two continents, Europe and Africa, both physically and virtually, which includes Member States’ politicians, SADC line ministers, public and private sector stakeholders, implementers, Basin commissions, researchers and any other stakeholder whose activities are related to coastal areas, rivers and their ecosystems.

She further stated that in southern Africa, SASSCAL-led consortia are in the process of implementing the Wetlands Surveillance and Assessment Service for Southern Africa’s transboundary basins (WEMAST), while CSIR heads Marine and Coastal Operations for Southern Africa (MACRO-South).

In its first phase, GMES has funded 13 consortia in Africa, and SASSCAL members of the consortium include the University of Botswana, the University of Zambia, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, the University of the Western Cape and Midlands State University, the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) and the National Remote Sensing Center (NRSC) in Zambia, ”she concluded.

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