The Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa programme (MESA) builds on the results obtained in PUMA and AMESD and will be a first contribution to the GMES Africa initiative of the EU-Africa Joint Strategy which will consolidate and widen the operational environmental services developed in AMESD while proposing new services, such as African Climate Services.
The purpose of the MESA project is: “to increase the information management, decision-making and planning capacity of African continental, regional and national institutions mandated for environment, climate, food security and related responsibilities by enhancing access to and exploitation of relevant Earth Observation applications in Africa”.
The project is clearly oriented toward the strengthening of capacities for the use of Earth observation in Africa, with a dedicated focus on climate and environment applications. Among other activities, MESA will secure the maintenance and upgrade of the EUMETCast reception stations deployed by AMESD and support the development of operational services based on Earth observation data.
The MESA project was proposed through the Ouagadougou Declaration signed in September 2010 by the African Union Commission, the ACP Secretariat and the African Regional Economic Communities, with the aim to ensure continuity of past investments on use of Earth observation data in Africa (e.g. PUMA and AMESD) and to provide an initial contribution to the GMES Africa initiative, which was called upon through the Maputo Declaration in October 2006 and included in the Joint EU-Africa Strategy as of December 2007.
RCMRD is supporting Regional Economic Blocs SADC & IGAD on respective themes on Land Degradation assessment, Natural Habitat Conservation, Forest management and climate change monitoring (with ICPAC) and Agricultural and Environmental Resources Management (with BDMS).
The MESA project is expected to deliver the following key results:
- Improved and sustainable access by African stakeholders to Earth Observation (EO) data/information at continental, regional and national levels;
- Improved Earth Observation data/¬information services available, contributing to better decision-making and planning at continental, regional and national levels
- Improved cross-fertilisation (geographically and thematically) and cooperation, both among regions on the African continent and with European partners, in the interest of synergised, efficient, and integrated information services on a continental scale
- Strengthened political and policy development frameworks sufficient to ensure an active and sustainable participation of African stakeholders in initiatives concerning Earth Observation for environment and security
- Increased knowledge of African stakeholders with regard to EO information (sources, uses, limitations, policy implications, etc.) that will contribute to sustainable and long-term benefits.