September 27, 2010
9th EUMETSAT User Forum in Africa
The 9th EUMETSAT User Forum in Africa is being held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from 27 September to 1 October 2010.
Organised in cooperation with the Burkina Faso Meteorological Service, the biennial forum is part of EUMETSAT’s initiative to strengthen links with the user community in Africa.
Over 180 participants from more than 60 countries representing African regional bodies, government agencies and regional scientific institutions have registered. The EUMETSAT delegation is led by its Director-General, Dr. Lars Prahm.
The forum offers an opportunity for delegates to receive the latest information on EUMETSAT programmes, EUMETSAT’s expanding activities in satellite meteorology, oceanography, atmosphere and climate monitoring, as well as its support for Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) benefit Africa.
EUMETSAT is helping its African partners to develop the necessary resources to participate in these initiatives, benefit from these new services, and develop its own capabilities for monitoring its environment and tackling global issues like climate change.
The Preparation for Use of Meteosat Second Generation in Africa (PUMA) project has allowed all African National Meteorological Services to benefit from satellite meteorology in their daily operations and has helped improve weather forecasting and seasonal forecasting in Africa.
The African Monitoring of the Environment for Sustainable Development (AMESD) programme has built on PUMA and taken it a step further, delivering concrete results, including the upgrade of the 53 PUMA stations (called PUMA 2010 stations), the installation of 57 new AMESD stations for national entities in charge of environment monitoring (agriculture, water resources management, etc.), the organisation of training sessions and the launch of the five thematic applications in the African sub-Saharan regions.
On the eve of the 9th EUMETSAT User Forum in Africa, the Ouagadougou Declaration will be signed in support to the GMES and Africa initiative. This follows on from the Maputo Declaration (signed on the eve of the 7th EUMETSAT User Forum in Africa in 2006) and the 2007 Lisbon Declaration. The Ouagadougou Declaration will focus on building on the results of AMESD to contribute to the GMES Africa initiative and on continuation of the efforts within the EU-Africa Partnership to finalise a long term strategy for Earth Observation in Africa. The Ouagadougou Declaration, signed by the African Union Commission and the five African Regional Economic Groupings, will call on the European Commission to finance a continuation of the AMESD project as a first contribution to the GMES Africa initiative and in support of the European Union-African Union Strategic Partnership. This project should start in 2012 and support EUMETSAT’s strategy for Africa.
Highlights of the five-day programme of the forum include a live demonstration of the PUMA 2010 stations, a presentation of the GMES Africa initiative and a session on climate.