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Africa to implement new programme for environmental monitoring

Ghana: The African Monitoring of Environment for Sustainable Development (AMESD) programme will come to an end in June 2013. A new EUR 37 million programme – ‘Monitoring of Environment and Security in Africa (MESA)’ will bridge AMESD with the follow-up ‘Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES)’ Initiative. The implementation of MESA will start in 2013 and run until 2018.

Since its inception in 2007, the AMESD programme has taken the Preparation for the Use of Meteosat Second Generation in Africa (PUMA) a step forward by extending the use of earth observation technologies and data to environment and climate monitoring applications. MESA, likewise, will build on the results of AMESD to address the needs for improved management of natural resources and environmental security towards sustainable development in Africa, at continental, regional and national levels, including all Sub-Saharan African countries.

This will be achieved by providing infrastructural support, including upgrading and maintenance of receiving stations and information and data management. MESA will also consolidate and further develop information services in the thematic areas that are addressed by AMESD, with the inclusion of new thematic areas such as climate services and forest information. Promotion of cross-fertilisation of environmental monitoring services and applications among the five partner regions will be one of the main objectives of MESA. In addition, strengthening of policy development frameworks and capacity building are key components of the program.

Monitoring of soil and water conditions for agriculture, tracking forest degradation and desertification, providing information to policy and decision makers in order to lessen and/or adapt to effects of climate change and reducing the risks of natural and human made disasters, for example, are all areas where MESA will bring added value.

MESA is funded by the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). The programme will be implemented under the coordination of the African Union Commission, which has been delegated by 5 regional economic communities (CEMAC, ECOWAS, IGAD, IOC & SADC) and by the African Caribbean and Pacific Secretariat to act on their behalf as Delegated Regional Authorising Officer. The EU Delegation to the African Union is the lead delegation for the management of the programme.

Source: AMESD