The Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) is holding the 53rd meeting of the Governing Council at its premises in Nairobi, Kenya. The meeting which commenced on the 11 November at the RCMRD premises in Kasarani, Nairobi, Kenya, focused on promoting the use of geo-information for sustainable development in member States.
In his opening remarks, the Chief Aministrative Secretary in the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning Kenya, Honourable Gideon Mungaro, welcomed the participants and expressed gratitude to the regional centre’s governing council for granting Kenya the opportunity to host the 53rd session of the council meeting. He urged the participants to play their role in ensuring the implementation of the agenda of the meeting in their various countries. The CAS also highlighted environmental issues of member States, stressing geo-information services as a solution.
“First is about land use administration and land cover change in the region. Land is a factor of production; the impacts of land use and land cover change require transboundary efforts. For example, it is not enough for one country to conserve its forests when its neighbour oversees unchecked illegal logging of forests. We need to ensure that we keep accurate data on land use conversions that can be adequately used for the region’s socio-economic development.”
Hon. Gideon Mungaro officially opening the 53rd meeting of the RCMRD Governing Council.
The 53rd Meeting of the Governing Council discussed matters arising from the previous meeting, UNECA and country statements, the report of the technical committee, report of the finance committee, date and venue of the next meeting, report of the Appointments, Promotions and Remuneration Committee (APRC), adoption of the report of the 53rd Governing Council meeting, and resolutions.
PSs from the RCMRD member States who attended the 53rd Governing Council meeting
Hon. Mungaro further spoke about the importance of water to development, sustainability and resilience of people’s livelihood. He stated that RCMRD is open to views and counsel on how to manage and foster the development of amicable solutions around water governance, access and use. Furthermore, he implored representatives of member states at the meeting to take time to think of the long-term strategies which they can collaboratively implement to mitigate losses associated with such disastrous events relating to climate changes. "The third item concerns weather and climate related disasters. You will recall that our brothers and sisters in southern Africa endured devastating effects of cyclone idai, resulting in unfortunate loss of lives and destruction of property. With the ongoing rains, Kenya is experiencing flooding in a number of counties. I implore all of us to take time to think of the long-term strategies that you and the centre can collaboratively implement to mitigate losses associated with such disastrous events."
The event also featured the 53rd Meeting of the Technical Committee of the RCMRD Governing Council, officially opened by the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning, Dr Nicholas Muraguri on November 11, 2019. According to him, “the principal concern of any country in the world is to define, and better understand the interrelationship between the population, environment, natural resources and economic development, to realise what is commonly known as sustainable development.”
He noted that “sustainable development requires proper land management, and it is in this regard that we see RCMRD’s core mission perfectly resonating with what we consider as foundational imperatives of member states’ development agenda.” He added that, the principal concern of any country in the world is to define and better understand the interrelationship between the population, environment, natural resources and economic development, for purpose of realizing what is commonly known as sustainable development. The sustainable development requires proper land management and it is in this regard that we see RCMRD's core mission perfectly resonating with what we consider foundational imperatives to member states development agenda.
Dr. Muraguri noted that RCMRD is a key partner in the provision of geospatial data and tools to guide the development of County Spatial Plans, which will inform sustainable utilization of land at the devolved units, and therefore align land use plans along manufacturing and housing sectors. "Already, the Ministry of Agriculture is relying heavily on RCMRD to design the National Crop Monitor, a tool that uses satellite data and GIS to provide up to-date information on crop performance and expected yields. In addition, there is enormous potential in the use of GIS and statistics as it has been depicted from Kenya's recently concluded census that incorporated geospatial information and population data that will guide our country going forward."
Reading a statement from the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Mr. Andre Nonguierma, the Geospatial Information Management Systems United Nations Economic Commission for Africa said that the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), is one of the institutions set up by ECA and through which ECA provides support to member states for geo-information, especially with regards to capacity building and specialised services. He reaffirmed ECA’s continual support to the Centre.
“Today, I am pleased to reaffirm once again the commitment of ECA to continue to support the Centre. This partnership built upon multifaceted initiatives at the institutional, technical and financial levels, includes among others joint provision of services and technical assistance to member states, regional and international organisations, on issues related to remote sensing and geospatial technologies and their applications to emergencies and key development challenges.” The week-long event featured plenary discussions and break committee discussions with report backs.
RCMRD is an intergovernmental organization with 20 contracting countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. The Centre has continued to improve service provision through enhancing its capacity to respond effectively to evolving needs of the member States. The Governing Council (GC) is composed of the officials of the rank of Permanent or Principal Secretary or
its equivalent representing member States and forms the main policy and management organ of the Centre. Above the GC is the Conference of Ministers (CoM), comprising Cabinet Secretaries or Ministers or its equivalent representing member States. The Governing Council meets every end of the calendar year to assess the progress for that particular year and approve the work plans and budget for the following year as well as address any management and policy issues. The Governing Council has four Committees: namely the Appointment, Promotion and Remuneration Committee;the Finance Committee; Technical Committee; the National Geo-Information Advisory Committee; and the Tender Committee.