Dakar, Senegal 24 April 2017 – The second Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (MESA) Forum kick started in Dakar,under the theme “from Earth Observation to Policy Development and Implementation”.
The 2nd MESA Forum is organised by the African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Government of the Republic of Senegal. More than 200 international delegates composed of decision and policy makers, planners, earth observation data users and experts from 49 beneficiary countries of MESA Project, other stakeholders and partner institutions are participating in the second MESA Forum. The European Union provides financial support to the MESA Project.
In her speech, H.E. Mrs. Josefa Leonel Correia SACKO, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission, emphasized the invaluable significance of Africa’s access to, and utilization of Earth Observation (EO) data and information to policy and decision making, development planning, sustainable management of environmental and natural resources, and social economic development. She further said, “to reach our African destiny of a prosperous, peaceful, and integrated Africa by
2063, Africa needs concerted effort and determination.”
Speaking at the briefing, H.E. Abdoulaye Balde, Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development of the Government of the Republic of Senegal says “Initiatives such as the MESA Program have strengthened the capacities of many Senegalese institutions, including the Ecological Monitoring Center (CSE), facilitating the development of specialized expertise in the exploitation and use of spatial information to: Decision-making in the field of environmental monitoring and management of natural resources; Understanding and mitigation of the effects of climate variability on ecosystems and populations; The provision of relevant and localized information to policy makers, scientists, the private sector and general public”.
The 2nd MESA Forum runs from 24 to 28 April 2017. Delegates are expected to share their experiences on how Earth Observation through the MESA Project supported African Governments, institutions, Regional Economic Communities , and communities in policy development, policy decisions and policy implementations at national, regional and continental scales in Africa. Testimonies and stories of success of users of MESA data and information will be shared both through plenary and exhibitions. Youth are also taking part in the Forum.
The Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (MESA) Project uses space-based and in-situ data to enable an improved management of the environment and food security at continental, regional and national levels in Africa. The MESA Project, funded by the European Union, is implemented with the overall coordination of the African Union Commission. Specialised technical institutions of the Regional Economic Communities and Inter-Governmental Organisations (CEMAC, ECOWAS, IGAD, IOC and SADC) lead the implementation of the project in their respective regions. The project is also implemented with close cooperation of the European Union and partners such as European Organisation for the Exploration of Meteorological Satellite (EUMETSAT) and the
European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC).