UN-SPIDER at the 8th International Conference of the African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (AARSE) and the GARNET-E workshop
The above conference was organized by AARSE together with the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the Ethiopian Mapping Agency and took place from 25 to 29 October. It brought together more than 400 participants from all over the African continent as well as other international experts. Participation ranged from senior scientists and PhD students to government officials and private company representatives. The meeting covered four major topics from a remote sensing perspective: Food and Water Security, Energy Resources, Marine and Coastal Management as well as Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). UN-SPIDER actively participated in the conference, especially in the segments on DRR. A presentation was given on the topic of “Space-based solutions for Disaster Management and Emergency Response for Africa” and an exhibition booth was shared with UNECA to provide outreach material to participants and hold numerous discussions on the programme. The event was instrumental to build upon the existing UN-SPIDER network on the continent and also to create more awareness about the UN-SPIDER programme and further involve practitioners and scientists in Africa in our activities.
Following AARSE, a GARNET-E post-conference workshop took place on 30 and 31 October. The GARNET-E partners invited UN-SPIDER to participate in this workshop which brought together about 50 persons from the space- as well as the disaster management community from all over Africa. The European Commission Seventh Framework Programme (FP-7) project GARNET-E stands for “GMES and Africa: Regional Network for Information Exchange and Training in Emergencies” and intends to contribute to the partial re-alignment of the “GMES Emergency Response in Africa” Agenda, also by facilitating communication among practitioners and by creating a network of networks on the continent. UN-SPIDER gave a comprehensive presentation on the Programme and recent activities in Africa, focusing on its network, Technical Advisory Support and SpaceAid. Possible areas for cooperation were discussed and specified within and outside of the GARNET-E framework. Other presentations given during the first day of the workshop included the GARNET-E project, the GMES Initiative, including the SAFER Emergency Response arm, and the International Charter Space and Major Disasters.