Addis Ababa, November 14, 2014: NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, US Ambassador to Ethiopia Patricia Haslach, and US Ambassador to the African Union (AU) Reuben Brigety recently met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to discuss resources available to help mitigate the impacts in Africa of global climate change.
On 10 November, Bolden delivered high-resolution topographical data for the African continent to the technical committee of the Governing Council of the Regional Center for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), which hosts the SERVIR Eastern and Southern Africa Hub. SERVIR is a joint venture between NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development that provides satellite-based Earth observation data and science applications to help developing nations.
Bolden also shared that five NASA Earth Science missions are being launched into space within a 12-month period. They include the Global Precipitation Measurement core observatory (GPM) launched in February as a joint mission developed by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA); The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) launched in July as the second of NASA’s Earth science missions; RapidScat launched aboard the SpaceX-4 mission in September to study ocean surface winds aboard the International Space Station (ISS); the ISS Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS) set for December; and the Soil Moisture Active Passive Mission (SMAP) to be launched in January.
The data, collected by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, was recently released as part of President Barack Obama's climate action plan, announced during the United Nations Climate Summit in September.
Bolden and Brigety also met with Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, the AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, and Martial De-Paul Ikounga, the AU Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, to discuss the potential for cooperation between NASA and the AU on education, disaster mitigation and applications for NASA's Earth science research.
NASA has close to 700 active agreements for collaboration with over 120 countries in all mission areas.