Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Creation of an Observatory for Environment and Sustainable Development for Africa

16.02.2005


In close co-operation with the Directorates General for External Relations, Development and the EuropAid and Co-operation Office, the European Commission’s Directorate General, Joint Research Centre (DG JRC) is contributing to European Union initiatives in Africa by developing a dedicated Environmental Information System based on satellite and computermapping technologies.



This provides information on food needs, helps the European Commission Humanitarian Office provide aid in the aftermath of natural disasters and other emergencies, and helps long-term development through sustainable management of natural resources.

Africa continues to face some of the world’s greatest development challenges. More than 200 million people are undernourished, thousands of displaced persons are housed in refugee camps and the quality of essential resources such as water, cropland and forests is under threat. As the world’s largest donor of development aid, the European Union is a leader in the fight to eradicate poverty and improve social development. Over the last decade research at DG JRC has used satellite imagery, maps, statistics and computer models to address diverse environmental monitoring issues. This work has seen strong links established with UN Agencies, with counterparts throughout the developing world, as well as space agencies and other data providers. DG JRC is using this experience to create an Environmental Information System for Africa. The System brings together established DG JRC projects to help the Directorates General charged with policy development and implementation in the identification of priorities for EU intervention, and in the strategic orientation of European aid to Africa and other developing countries.


A loss in natural resources is a direct loss in income.

Income in many regions of Africa relies on natural resources - And armed-conflicts are increasingly driven by resource availability. Careful resource management will ensure economic value for present and future generations and help avoid conflict. DG JRC gathers and processes information on forests, biodiversity, land-use, land degradation and water to produce environmental information such as land-resource maps for the whole of Africa, location and timing of water resource replenishment and exhaustion, and the detection of forest logging activities. Geographic Information Systems exploiting this information have been installed in EU Delegations and already help in the better management of some of West and Central Africa’s national parks.

Saving lives and providing emergency relief.

Africa has a high proportion of the world’s refugees. The European Commission Humanitarian Office provides aid to the dispossessed, helping to save lives and to provide emergency relief to people affected. A significant part of this aid sustains people hosted in refugee camps. Insecurity in the host country or delays in repatriation mean refugees may have to live in camps for years - Lukole camp in Tanzania set up in 1994 to host Rwandese refugees still operates more than a decade later. DG JRC uses satellite imagery to count family dwellings in the camps and estimate the number of refugees. This information is then provided to the Directorates General involved in the disbursement and control of aid and assistance, thus helping to ensure that aid goes where, and when, it is most needed.

Providing early estimates of crop yields and warning of crop failure.

DG JRC’s crop monitoring and forecasting system assesses agricultural productivity in over 30 countries vulnerable to crises and food shortages; the Horn of Africa is particularly important because of recurrent food crisis and the absence of a regional monitoring system. Monthly reports describing current crop condition, yield prospects and the likelihood of food shortages are issued from April to October. During this period, continuous exchange takes place with the EU offices in Africa, African institutions and UN partners. In 2004 the focus was on North-Sudan’s Darfur region, and the regions of Mauritania and Mali suffering from desert locust plagues.

Local change has global consequences, global change local consequences.

Africa has 17% of the world’s forest, at least 20% of its grassland and 11% of the wetlands. Changes to these (and they do change: for example much of the grassland burns each year) affect Africa and the global environment, especially our climate. The rural peoples of Africa are some of the most vulnerable to climate change; they have little adaptive capacity and are among the worst affected by droughts, floods and storms; their agriculture, forestry and livestock too are all sensitive to climate. The environmental measurements made by DG JRC help determine Africa’s role in the global climate system, and highlight how climate change will affect the ecosystem services the poorest rely upon.

A long-term programme

The European Commission and European Space Agency have launched an initiative to establish, by 2008, a European capacity for global monitoring for environment and security (GMES) to support the Union’s political goals regarding sustainable development and global governance. GMES will facilitate and foster the operational provision of quality data, information and knowledge, and DG JRC will help extend the application of the GMES initiative to Africa.

Aidan Gilligan | alfa
Further information:
http://www.jrc.cec.eu.int

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>