GMES and Africa: Third successful GARNET-E workshop held in Morocco
On 13th and 14th March 2012, the EU funded GARNET-E project held its third information exchange workshop – “Contribution of EO and GIS in Disaster Management” – for the Disaster Risk Management community from Northern and Western Africa, organised by GARNET-E partner CRTS in Rabat, Morocco. The focus of the workshop was to raise awareness about the GMES project of the European Union and the International Charter ‘Space and Major Disasters’; to introduce their, operational aspects, and potential for Emergency Response in Africa.
The workshop was attended by 35 particiapnts from 10 African countries (and 2 European countries) who work in the Disaster Risk Management and Reduction sector. The workshop highlighted how the GMES initiative might be implemented in Africa – by Africans and for Africans using African infrastructure. It also helped understand the link between GEO, GEOSS and the Charters; and how the International Charter can be better used by national agencies across Africa. The workshop also showcased the role of some international and national organisations in disaster response and knowledge exchange – UN-SPIDER, CRASTE-LF, CRTS. Discussions and presentations from participants helped understand how different countries are managing their disaster management/response activities in terms of infrastructure, training and education programmes and included real examples of success.
The workshop outcomes centred around the need to increase awareness of GMES as a whole, to establish and strengthen coordination and collaboration between GMES-Africa and local partners and the need for the continuation of the GARNET-E objective in its current form or as a major objective in the upcoming EU-funded programme – MESA (Monitoring of Environment and Security in Africa). Training and knowledge exchange were deemed key to creating capacity for people to reproduce and deliver the products to inform disaster response and resource management decisions.
Although the GARNET-E project concludes at the end of April 2012 it is hoped that the networks created by this event will continue and build, and that links can be strengthened through the AARSE Conference to be held in El Jadida, Morocco in October.