Ouagadougou Declaration in support of the GMES Africa Initiative, September 28, 2010October 5, 2010 at 9:06 am | Posted in Remote Sensing Law Current Events | Leave a comment
by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty
On 26 September 2010, a high-level meeting took place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, to support the GMES Africa initiative.
Representatives from the African Regional Economic Communities (ECOWAS, CEMAC, IGAD, IOC, SADC), the African Union Commission and the ACP Secretariat endorsed the Ouagadougou Declaration in support of the GMES Africa initiative. WMO, EUMETSAT, ACMAD, GEO and the EU participated in the meeting as observers.
The Ouagadougou Declaration follows on from the 2006 Maputo Declaration and the 2007 Lisbon Declaration. Signed on the eve of the 7th EUMETSAT User Forum in Africa, the Maputo Declaration called on the EU to extend its GMES initiative to include Africa. The EU responded positively at an event on GMES and Africa organised in Lisbon by the Portuguese Presidency of the EU, leading to the inclusion of the GMES Africa project in the EU-Africa Joint Partnership approved by EU and African heads of state.
The focus of the Ouagadougou Declaration is to build on the results of AMESD to contribute to the GMES Africa initiative. The declaration also called for the continuation of efforts within the EU-Africa Partnership to finalise a long-term strategy for Earth observation data applications in Africa.
At the meeting, EUMETSAT affirmed its support for the declaration, indicating that supporting its user community in Africa is part of its long-term strategy (EUMETSAT: Strategy 2030). The EUMETSAT Director-General, Lars Prahm, made the following statement:
Space data are already widely made available to African countries today. As currently demonstrated in the PUMA and AMESD programmes, they are already contributing to provide relevant information for decision makers responsible for development policies in environment, climate, transport, health, etc. It is important that African users and policy makers in these domains drive the process and are at the heart of the GMES and Africa initiative.