RCMRD under Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) and Africa organized an Open Day forum that was hosted at Inter Luxury Hotel Addis Ababa on May 13 and 14, May 2021. RCMRD, which is one lead institution for GMES and Africa consortia in the Eastern Africa region addresses the following service areas: Land Degradation Monitoring and Assessment, Wetland Monitoring and Assessment and Open Regional Reference Vector Database for Water and Agro-ecological zones.
A joint initiative of the African Union Commission and the European Commission, GMES and Africa aims to address the growing needs of African countries to access and use Earth Observation (EO) data for the implementation of sustainable development policies, management of the environment and natural resources, as well as monitoring of humanitarian operations in Africa. GMES & Africa Open Day aimed at creating awareness of GMES & Africa project, its product’s application, usability and accessibility in the region through guided presentations and discussions tailored into the user’s language.
Photo 1: A group photo of participants at the Open day in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
At the opening of the two day forum, the Director General EGII-, Dr. Tulu Besha described the GMES project as a project with useful products that have been used for decision making in various sectors within Ethiopia and beyond.
He further added that, "we have seen tremendous advancements in the use of Earth Observation technologies in finding solutions to various developmental challenges in Ethiopia and other participating countries.’’
The GMES & Africa Open Day event seeks to inform and equip ministries and institutions with tools that combat land degradation, address issues on wetlands and improve the interpretation of Earth Observation through comprehensive open geographical regional reference database that is accessed at regional and national levels. In this regard, there was a soft launch of RCMRD GMES Geoportal for use in Ethiopia. During the soft launch, Dr. Tulu stated that GMES and Africa Data portal meant to promote data access and awareness and also showcase the products from the three thematic areas of focus.
Further there were different presentations by the RCMRD Project Manager, Thematic experts on Land Degradation Monitoring and Assessment, Wetland Monitoring and Assessment and Open Regional Reference Vector Database for Water and Agro-ecological zones.
Photo 2: RCMRD GMES & Africa Project Manager welcoming the participants to GMES Open Day in Addis Ababa
Private sectors also demonstrated tools developed on Land Productivity Analysis and Wetlands Vulnerability Analysis with the support of RCMRD GMES and Africa project.
There were discussions among virtual and physical participants of the workshop from different parts of the continent and beyond. In addition it made an opportunity for networking of the Geospatial community in Ethiopia for further communication on the areas of spatial data sharing and usage. In addition the event presented an opportunity for the participants to engage in question and answer session,there were also local media interviews with the guest Dr. Tulu Besha (EGII DG), Mr. Degelo Sendabo (GMES Project Manager -RCMRD) and Kenneth Kasera (User Engagement-RCMRD).