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African wetland managers armed with new technology

Garba Sambo Hassan, said: "The training has been really stimulating. I used to perform these tasks manually, which is tedious and cumbersome. I am now anxious to get back to the office and use these products to update my past work. It is marvellous."

The seminar also sought to help African users critically assess their requirements, suggest new products, identify inefficiencies and take over the process. All the training materials were consolidated on a CD and given to all African end users at the close of the session. In addition, all attendees received an ESA TIGER initiative training kit. GlobWetland makes up an integral part of the TIGER initiative, which focuses on the use of EO data for improving water resource management in Africa.

Abundant water makes wetlands the most biologically diverse ecosystems on Earth, more productive even than tropical rainforests. Unlike rainforests, they are scattered across the world, providing regional flood and erosion prevention, water purification and nutrient recycling.

For much of the 20th Century, wetlands were drained or otherwise degraded. However, growing understanding of the vital importance of wetlands led to the signing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in 1971.

Today more than 1 424 wetlands ?a total area of 129 million hectares ?have been designated as Wetlands of International Importance. The Ramsar Convention's 145 national signatories have committed to maintaining the ecological character and are obliged to report on the state of listed wetlands they have designated.


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Source:European Space Agency


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