Staff from RCMRD/SERVIR E&SA are attending the 37th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment (ISRSE-37). The symposium comes to a close today. The Symposium’s theme was “Earth Observation for Development and Adaptation to a Changing World,” is in Tshwane, South Africa. ISRSE-37 is organized by the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
The 2017 Symposium is the second time in this millennium that the African continent hosted ISRSE. It coincides with the implementation of the recently adopted African Space Policy and Strategy, as well as rapid development in African space science and technology programmes.
ISRSE convened for the first time in 1962, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA and is the world’s oldest remote sensing conference. It is currently convened on a biennial basis by the International Centre on Remote Sensing of Environment (ICRSE) and the International Committee on Remote Sensing of the Environment (ICORSE), a standing committee of the International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS).
The Symposium attracted senior staff of space agencies and international Earth observation programmes and thereby provided a global overview of advances in Earth observation and the consequential societal benefits. RCMRD/SERVIR E&SA Staff attending the Symposium include Prof J. B. Kiema, Degelo Sendabo, Phoebe Oduor, Edward Ouko and Lilian Ndung’u.
Phoebe made two presentations on: Collect Earth online on behalf of Africa Flores and the second on timesync. NASA HQ Point of Contact for SERVIR and Capacity Building Program Manager Nancy Searby made a presentation what the interventions by the SERVIR network of regional hubs currently covering the Eastern and Southern Africa regions, the Hindu-Kush Himalaya region, the Mekong region, and the West Africa region.
Prof Kiema made a poster presentation on Use of earth observation data to map invasive species in Kenya’s wildlife conservancies and on invasive species and chaired the AfriGEOSS meeting while Degelo made a presentation together with Tiger partners. Edward had two poster presentations on Community climate-based mapping and modelling of invasive species (Mangrove mapping) and where, when and why are there elephant poaching hotspots in Kenya?
According to Phoebe who participated in the symposium, RCMRD and SERVIR E&SA benefitted through participants creating awareness of the work done by the Centre and the presentation on the current activities as well as an opportunity for collaboration with partners on potential opportunities for current and future collaboration.
In the opening address, Minister Naledi Pandor noted, “Now it’s Africa’s turn. We have to talk about space, coordinate our activities, and invest for the future. For Africa to catch up with OECD countries, African governments and relevant institutions have to increase investments and awareness of the use of space for decision making processes.”
He added that “we must stimulate an African dialogue on the use of space for development, building African capacity in science and technology, and promoting continental coordination of space activities. The dialogue and coordination I’m talking about is beginning to yield positive results as can be seen in the emergence of space agencies in Algeria, Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa. These developments have increased the appetite of African countries for developing space assets.”
This 2017 Symposium presented an opportunity to strengthen existing linkages and develop new areas of co-operation among members of the Earth observation community.
Mr Imraan Saloojee the Stakeholder and Business Development (SBD) Manager for SANSA reiterated Minister Pandor’s call to renew partnerships made by the Minister at the opening session on Monday. He asked participants to report the new partnerships and urged them to go away with some of this partnerships signed.”
He said there were so many exciting presentations that happened and thereafter asked the technical committee on the review of the project to announce the important awards for best presentation, best poster and best student presentation.
Nancy Searby Presenting the Poster on the SERVIR Global Interventions.
Content for this article provided by Phoebe Oduor, (Thematic Lead- LULC and GHG Inventories RCMRD/SERVIR Eastern & Southern Africa) and Dorah Nesoba (Communications and Outreach Expert, RCMRD/SERVIR Eastern & Southern Africa)
Photo credits: Phoebe Oduor