Funding and Implementation of MESA Program.
The contribution of MESA will be to fill the gaps in capacity in the potential use of EO products with respect to these thematic areas. The total project cost is EUR 40,000 000 of which EUR 20 000 000 shall be financed from the 10th EDF Intra ACP envelope in the framework of the revised ACP.
Implementation of MESA.
The RECs involved in MESA all have regional policies in the areas of food security, water resource management, environmental management and conservation, and marine and coastal management. The contribution of MESA will be to fill the gaps in capacity in the potential use of EO products with respect to these thematic areas.
RECs are at a Pan African level, under the umbrella of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) in which there is a clear endeavor to help African countries reach a higher pathway of economic growth through agriculture-led development and more appropriate environmental policies2. The availability and access of relevant environmental data is crucial for the implementation of policies and program aimed at achieving sustainable development.
MESA’s objective and overall concept comes from a lively and articulated debate. In fact, the significance of the use of Earth Observation for agricultural, water and environmental security applications in the Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (MESA)3 program, have been confirmed by the RECs and the AUC on several occasions, through the Declaration of Dakar (September 2002), the Maputo Declaration (October 2006), the Lisbon Declaration (December2007), and more recently the Ouagadougou Declaration (September 2010), where the 5 RECs, the AUC and the ACP reaffirmed their commitment to the Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (MESA) program. During these events, the necessity of using updated EO technology to mitigate and avoid natural disasters in Africa by relying on African Institutions was greatly stressed.
MESA builds on the Meteorological Transition in Africa (MTAP/PUMA) project under the 8th EDF4 and the African Monitoring for Environment and Sustainable Development (AMESD) program under the 9th EDF5, utilizing space-based and in situ Earth Observation data and GIS applications for an improved management of the environment and of security at continental, regional, and national levels in Africa.
In terms of institutional partnership, MESA will collaborate with quite a number of partners who will eventually benefit from the program as well as contributing to its execution.
Interestingly, MESA stakeholders are at various levels - continental, regional, and national. While the African Union Commission (AUC) will bear the direct responsibility for the planning and implementation of MESA, it will do so in collaboration with a number of institutions. These below are the major ones:
1. The partner Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and their Regional Implementation Centers (RICs) participating in the MESA program
2. Africa Caribbean and Pacific Organization (ACP)
3. National institutions including 1) National environmental authorities 2) national meteorological services 3) national disaster management institutions
4. Ministries of agriculture and forestry, fisheries, environment, marine, coastal and waterresources management.
5. Others institutions of some relevance are Universities, mapping and remote sensing agencies, research institutions and think tanks in environmental monitoring and remote sensing.
Most of these partners are part of the Program Steering Committee which will be the governing body of the MESA program with different roles and powers
The total project cost is EUR 40,000 000 of which EUR 20 000 000 shall be financed from the 10th EDF Intra ACP envelope in the framework of the revised ACP. EU Partnership Agreement, EUR 17 000 000 shall be financed from four 10th EDF RIPS managed by the partner RECs and roughly EUR 3 000 000 will be contributions in kind by other project partners.
THE ROLE OF EUMETSAT AND JRC IN MESA These two European organizations are fundamental partners in the establishment of Earth Observation infrastructure of MESA in terms of hardware, software and data. They are also vital in the area of training to RICs and other relevant players such as national institutions. They played similar roles in PUMA and AMESD and as such help to assure continuation in these areas.
EUMETSAT (European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites) is an intergovernmental organization whose primary objective to establish, maintain and exploit European systems of operational meteorological satellites. A further objective is to contribute to the operational monitoring of the climate and the detection of global climatic changes, and through fulfilling these objectives, contribute to environmental monitoring.
The EUMETSAT strategy also includes extending the user base for EUMETSAT data, products and services, and in particular this has involved African environmental monitoring starting with the PUMA program in 2002.
A fundamental component of MESA is the distribution of data and services using the EUMETCast broadcasting system provided by EUMETSAT, other contributions include:
• Secretariat of the MESA Steering Committee
• Access to and use of EUMETSAT data and products
MESA Result 1: Access to EO data
• Support preparation of Supply contract for EUMETCAST infrastructure
• Assist during implementation
• EUMETSAT Help Desk as the first line of support
• Access to Third party data through EUMETCast
MESA Result 2: Services
• Support consolidation and verification of Grant request
• Assist during implementation
MESA Result 3: Cross-fertilization
• Availability of EUMETCast to disseminate MESA Data and products
MESA Result 4 (Policy)
• Link with other international EO initiative (GEO, Copernicus/GMES, GFCS)
MESA Result 5: Training
• Support definition of training activities
• Assist during implementation
• Provide existing training modules
• Thematic Support to some THEMA’s (e.g. Ocean THEMA’s)
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is a Directorate-General of the European Commission, with a mission that can be summarized as “robust science for (EU) policy making”. More specifically MESA deals with the Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES), which has 35 years of monitoring experience, including various programs in Africa and especially PUMA and AMESD.
A fundamental component of MESA is the Earth Observation Processing Server or eStation (environmental Station) hardware and software, used for processing data from EUMETCast and elsewhere, and for environmental monitoring. Other contributions include:
• eStation maintenance and upgrade
• Training: on-the-job sessions at JRC, provision of teachers for training of trainers in
EU/Africa, writing of tutorials.
• Institutional support to the project: participation to Steering Committee, project review meetings.
• Thematic Support to some THEMA’s (e.g. Agricultural THEMA’s)
In summary, EUMETSAT provides the receiving stations and the broadcast of basic data, JRC provides processing and visualization as well as applications expertise, and both institutions provide parts of the training and considerable institutional support.
EUMETSAT and JRC are crucial players in MESA. They provide technical expertise in training, infrastructure development and overall technical back up to the RICs.
The Role of JRC and EUMETSAT in training:
• JRC provides training materials and delivery of training related to the eStation, mainly by “train the trainers” approach, also some thematic training, based on their Administrative Agreement.
• EUMETSAT provide training materials and delivery of training on the use of EUMETCast stations (including both MESA and PUMA) and system administration, as well as the training channel on EUMETCAST.