FROM EARTH OBSERVATION DATA TO POLICY MAKING: MESA IGAD
MESA IGAD held the First Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (MESA) Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) (MESA IGAD) regional awareness raising policy and decision makers’ workshop at the Jupiter International Hotel – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 8th June 2016. The meeting brought together policy and decision makers of various government bodies, environmental institutions and experts from all the IGAD member states.
While officially opening the meeting, Dr. Mohammed Moussa, Director of Environment at IGAD stated, “There is dire need for MESA to aid in the increase of information management, decision-making and planning capacity of the African continental, regional and national institutions with mandate on environment, climate, food security and related sectors; by enhancing access to, and exploitation of relevant Earth Observation applications in Africa.”
CAPACITY BUILDING ON MESA IGAD OPERATIONAL SERVICES
Africa as a continent is very rich in natural resources, biodiversity and untainted landscapes that require environmental protection and management. Some of the regional natural resources are shared by several communities and cut across national boundaries. These include grazing lands, rivers, lakes, wildlife among others.
“As you are aware most of the IGAD region is arid or semi-arid arid with highly variable rainfall. Droughts are very frequent in the region and are often followed or preceded by floods,” said Dr. Guleid Artan Director IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) during the opening of the thematic trainings on operational services on Monday 29th February 2016. This training is taking place concurrently with that one of Land Degradation Assessment and Forest Monitoring Service at the Regional Centre for Mapping and Resources (RCMRD), Kasarani, Nairobi.
INAGURATION OF THE KENYA NATIONAL STEERING COMMITTEE OF THE MESA IGAD THEMA
Kenya held its inaugural meeting for the national steering committee on Monitoring of Environment and Security in Africa (MESA) on the 27thJanuary 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. In attendance was the representative of the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Mining, Joan Wamboe, the representative of the ICPAC Director, Mr. Vernon Copeland, Mr. Charles Situma, the Deputy Director of the Department of Resource Surveys and Remote Sensing (DRSRS) which is the focal point of the MESA Programme in Kenya, several technical experts, amongst others. The meeting brought together different stakeholders with diverse experience, knowledge and skills in implementation of MESA project.
THEMATIC TRAININGS ON OPERATIONAL SERVICES
MESA project aims at increasing information management capacity of IGAD regional and national institutions in support of decision and policy makers and to facilitate access to Africa-wide environmental information derived from earth observation technologies. MESA in the IGAD region focuses on the assessment and monitoring of land degradation, natural habitats and forest resources for sustainable land management.
As part of the result area 5 of MESA which is capacity development, MESA in the IGAD region is organizing training in the three operational services:
- Land degradation mitigation
- Natural Habitats Conservation
- Forest Monitoring
29th February – 11th March 2016
Forest Degradation Monitoring Workshop –19-23 October 2015
The ReCaREDD project run by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, and funded by the EU overseas cooperation service DG DEVCO, carried out a Forest Degradation Monitoring Workshop on 19 to 23rd October 2015 at the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) in Nairobi, Kenya. The training was organized in conjunction with IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) who partner with RCMRD in the EU funded MESA (Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa) project, and therefore are the primary point of contract for ReCaREDD activities in East Africa. Participants of the workshop were drawn from the two institutions as well as the National Forest officers from the various ICPAC member states.
MESA REGIONAL IMPLEMENTING CENTERS ICPAC AND BDMS SIGN A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING (MOU)
The IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC) MESA IGAD THEMA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Botswana Department of Meteorological Services (BDMS) MESA) SADC THEMA which will provide a roadmap for the implementation of cross fertilization activities between the two Regional Implementing Centers of the Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (MESA) program. Cross fertilization is under Result Area 3 of the MESA Programme and refers essentially to “inter regional sharing of results and experiences regarding service development, dissemination of best practise, exchange of expertise, knowledge transfer sessions, etc., geographically and thematically”.