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Call for Members: The Joint Implementation Network of Experts for Monitoring Land Degradation in Africa

The Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS) and its implementing partners of the GMES and Africa’s second phase invite interested parties – professionals, experts and managers of natural resources – to establish a continental land degradation mapping and monitoring service.

The Joint Implementation Network (JIN) will be coordinating the development process of the MISLAND Africa service while validating all the products to be ingested and published through it. The JIN will operate as an open, collaborative entity, ensuring that the best land monitoring approaches, models and indicators are adapted at all levels across all African states.

In addition, the JIN is a framework of a periodic dialogue between the experts working on land degradation monitoring in Africa, who will regularly exchange experiences and share knowledge and good practices. The meetings will be held quarterly starting from March 2023.

Opportunities for Network Members

The JIN membership makes it possible for the experts to:

How to Join the Network of Experts

The JIN is open to professionals involved in sustainable land monitoring, environment monitoring, the scientific and technical world (environment and natural resources management, water agencies, national/regional institutions working on land degradation and land resources restoration and management, academia, NGOs, consultants, students, etc.), with relevant references in their fields of expertise.

To become a JIN member, interested persons must submit a membership application file including the following: 


Land degradation and desertification are among the world’s most significant environmental challenges. Specifically, Africa is particularly vulnerable to land degradation and desertification and is the most severely affected region. The livelihood conditions of the African populations are directly affected by land degradation.

To this end, GMES and Africa aim to address the growing needs of African countries in accessing and using Earth Observation data for sustainable development. During the first phase (2018-2021) of implementation, the programme brought together 12 consortia that developed applications and services in water & natural resources and marine & coastal areas. Land degradation has been one of the critical challenges that the programme set out to proffer solutions to.

OSS and its partners have played an active role during the first phase by developing, at the scale of the North African region, an operational and integrated land degradation monitoring system – MISLAND, which relies on international standards, considers the region specificities and builds on the past experiences to improve land morning in the region. 

Furthermore, the service was developed in response to end-users’ needs and was the subject of great interest in this region and other parts of the continent. However, considering the effects of land degradation all over the African continent, it became imperative to scale up the service on a continental level to provide decision-ready solutions to stakeholders and other relevant institutions to improve the land degradation outlook in Africa. 

The idea of having MISLAND North Africa (covering 6 Million square kilometres) upgraded and upscaled to MISLAND Africa (30 Million square kilometres) was raised during the second GMES and Africa Continental Forum, held in December 2021 in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire). 

The African Union Commission (AUC), which highly encourages cross-fertilisation and knowledge sharing between the different consortia, called upon the OSS to explore the initiative through an inclusive approach to effectively implement the second phase of the GMES and Africa Programme. 

In partnership with the AUC, the OSS has organised a continental workshop (Abidjan, October 2022) that has brought together, in a synergistic framework, representatives and resource persons from several partners to develop a roadmap for setting up a continental land degradation monitoring service. These partners included:

At the end of this workshop, the African Union supported the development of an African-wide land degradation monitoring service (including the islands) adopted by the participating institutions. In addition, the decision was endorsed with the primary recommendation of building on the achievements and successful experiences, in particular the MISLAND tool, considering the various models and approaches developed at the level of African regions and ecosystems, and setting up a network of experts that would support the development of the service, called the Joint Implementation Network.

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