Agricultural and Environmental Resource Management Services for the SADC region

SADC THEMA ( Agricultural and Environmental Resource Management

The Botswana Department of Meteorological Services (BDMS) and the Southern Africa Development Community Climate Services Centre (SADC-CSC) form the Regional Implementation Center (RIC) for the SADC, with the following Thematic Action: Agricultural and Environmental Resource Management. BDMS-SADC-CSC delivers the following Informations Services:

1. Agricultural Service (
The Agricultural Service monitors the state of the crops and rangeland. The service is based on the Environmental station (e-station). The e-station enables users to receive and process earth observation data relevant for agricultural monitoring. This data inform of 10 day rainfall, vegetation, temperature and soil moisture products enables the user to identify areas with anomalies and potential risk of crop and rangeland failure on a near real-time basis. The main goal is to enable the Ministries of Agriculture in the participating SADC countries to perform rangeland and crop condition monitoring, as well as yield outlooks. Based on the agriculture service products the analysts can present the relevant information to decision makers in the form of a report or bulletin at a time interval of 10 days to 1 month.

(2) Drought Service (
Drought service delivers vegetation and rainfall based products for monitoring current drought situations as well as 3 months drought risk outlook maps throughout the whole year in support of both agriculture and environmental issues. In the agricultural area the issue to be addressed includes plant stress, water availability and grazing capacity for cattle. The Environmental issues to be addressed include fire risk, water availability, dam management and wildlife conservation. The drought service is based on the MESA Drought monitoring software (DMS) that capacitates users to develop drought products that helps to make informed decisions regarding drought situations in their countries. The DMS software is developed in GRASS (Geographical Resource Analysis Support System), an open source GIS software. The inherent GIS capabilities of the software allows greater freedom to the user in creation of additional products than only being limited to specific predefined drought indices provided by the drought service.

(3) Wildfire Service (
The wildfire service provides a daily fire risk indication (before the fire), continuous active fire maps (in real time during the fire season, refreshed every 15 minutes & 6 hours) and monthly burnt area assessments (after the fire). The wildfire service is based on the MESA wildfire station, which was developed based on the Advanced Fire Information System (AFIS) Terminal of the Council for Scientific and Industrial research m (CSIR). This station, comprising a EUMETCast antenna and two computers, one for data acquisition and processing, has been developed for users that need near real time fire information in remote areas where Internet access is limited or unavailable

(4) Flood Service (
The MESA flood service is composed of thee components which monitors the status before, during and after a floods event. The monitoring of conditions Before floods is done with the aid of a Flood Modelling system a Flash Flood Forecasting system. This helps to determine flood-prone and flood safe areas in the basin in near real time. During a flood event, there is a need for a Flood map, which shows the actual flooded areas, the service makes use of freely available MODIS and sentinel satellite images for delineation of flooded areas. In addition the service will make use the International Charter on Disasters for additional images. This is an International agreement among Space Agencies to support with space-based data and information relief efforts in the event of emergencies caused by major disasters. After flooding event, the service provides flooded area maps that enable an assessment of the flood damage. This map can be overlaid with a land use map, roads and settlements to assist with flood rescue missions.

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