The Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) consortium organized a kick-off workshop for its Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa (GMES and Africa) project Partners and Associates. The workshop’s main objective was to discuss the objectives and goals of the project and elaborate on the Partners and Associates’ roles in the GMES and Africa project. The two-day workshop which started on July 28 to 29, 2022, brought together partners and associates from seven institutions across the 14 implementing countries
Partners, Associates, RCMRD GMES and Africa project team participating in the kick-off workshop
While opening the workshop, the Director of Corporate Services, Mr. Paul Idude assured the Partners and Associates of RCMRD’s expertise in delivering on the needed objectives of the project. This was reemphasized by the Wetland Monitoring Thematic lead –Mr. Josphat Makanga in his brief on the GMES and Africa project and how the services RCMRD is implementing can be utilized in decision making as well as exploiting cross-fertilization of the different implementations to enhance knowledge management.
Mr. Makanga- Wetland Monitoring and Assessment thematic lead taking participants through the service areas and the role of the partners and associates in GMES and Africa project.
During the workshop, Land Degradation Monitoring and Assessment area was discussed. According to the thematic lead, the objectives of this service include Assessing the extent and severity of Land degradation at regional, national, and hotspot levels, Capacity building on land degradation modelling for End Users, developing land degradation information service for policy-making, and Enhancing Earth Observation data access and dissemination from Copernicus and other data streams for land degradation assessment. Overall, the value addition of the service has been aimed at addressing end-user needs, collaboration, capacity development and widespread communication. Read More: https://gmes.rcmrd.org/
While presenting on Wetland Monitoring and Assessment service area, some of the methodologies highlighted included the involvement of stakeholders in user needs assessment to identify gaps in wetlands management and priority areas. Mapping national wetlands of importance using freely available earth observation data and conducting a participatory ground truthing exercise for validation and local knowledge on land use change and impact among others. Read More:https://gmes.rcmrd.org/During the presentation on the third service area on Open Regional Reference Vector Database for Water and Agro-ecological zones, RCMRD has developed a consistent and comprehensive database that is accessed at national & regional levels with an aim to improve the interpretation of Earth Observation data. According to the thematic lead, the datasets available on the Geoportal are on Administrative boundaries, Forest cover, Land cover, Agro-ecological, Protected areas, Rivers, Roads, Towns, Settlements and Water bodies. Read More: https://gmesgeoportal.rcmrd.org/
While engaging the partners and associates on Training and capacity building, Prof. Anthony Gidudu from Makerere University unveiled plans in place to expand and deepen the involvement of students and interns in the project. In the last four years, 15 students have benefitted from the scholarship program. Students from these countries are eligible to apply; Comoros, Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar, Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Trainings conducted in the last phase of the project and the planned trainings were discussed. Other areas of discussion included Finance, monitoring and evaluation and communication and outreach.
The kick-off workshop was concluded with a tour of the E-station, which was donated by AUC under GMES and Africa program, the server room and the 3D 3Dphotogrammetry working stations at RCMRD.
RCMRD GMES and Africa Partners and Associates visit the E-station and the 3D Photogrammetry working Station
The GMES and Africa is a flagship program of the African Union Commission (AUC) which sets a pathway for the continent to be globally competitive in space activities, including Earth Observation (EO), and to develop a viable continental space program. RCMRD is the lead institution (RIC) for one of the GMES and Africa consortia in the Eastern Africa region. Read More : https://gmes.rcmrd.org/