The Lisbon Declaration on GMES and Africa has been adopted at a meeting of organisations and governmental European and African bodies and entities under the aegis of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union in Lisbon, Portugal.
The Lisbon Declaration falls under the wider framework of the Africa-European Union (EU) Partnership on Science, Information Society and Space of the Africa-EU Action Plan 2008 to 2010. It calls for the first draft of an action plan for establishing the partnership between GMES and Africa to be submitted to EU and African constituencies by the end of 2008.
The European Commission (EC) and the Commission of the African Union will then lead a consolidation process aimed at submitting the action plan for endorsement at the next EU-Africa Summit foreseen for the end of 2009.
GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) is a European Union-led initiative in partnership with ESA to combine ground- and space-based observations to develop an integrated environmental monitoring capability. ESAs role within GMES is to implement the dedicated GMES space component, which involves developing the five Sentinel satellites, and to coordinate contributions from Member States, EUMETSAT (European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites) and other mission operators.
Opening the 7 December ceremony, Space for Development: the case for GMES and Africa, Dr Volker Liebig, Director of ESAs Earth Observation Programme, said: "Africa is relevant for Europe, and space is relevant for Africa."
"Sustainable development is top on the agenda of the international community, and it is impossible to address this challenge without space assets. The ESA strategy for Africa is therefore the result of a natural evolution of cooperation in the context of the global concerns we face today."
Cooperation between Africa and Europe is not a novelty for ESA. "What topic is be
|Contact: Mariangela D'Acunto|
European Space Agency