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Africa focuses on GMES
Date:12/11/2007

tter suited to reflect the challenges of Africa and the world in the coming century than the blue gold: water," Liebig said. "Water scarcity is the root for harsh living conditions for millions of individuals as it is the root for political conflicts. ESA is answering the challenge of water management in Africa with the TIGER initiative."

ESA launched the TIGER Initiative in 2002 following the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. The initiatives primary objective is to help African countries overcome problems faced in the collection, analysis and dissemination of water-related geo-information by exploiting EO technology. Since then, TIGER has involved more than 150 African organisations investigating the various stages of the water cycle in some 15 projects across the African continent.

In his address, Liebig stressed the experience gained through past cooperation with TIGER, highlighted some major environmental problems facing Africa, such as water scarcity, desertification, loss of biodiversity and food security, and underscored the importance of African participation in order to make the initiative a success.

"Africa will need to focus their user requirements," Liebig said. "The central sentence of the Maputo Declaration, which calls for the EU to plan an extension of its GMES European initiative to Africa, refers to two actors: the EU to make data and tools available, and the African countries to implement policies for sustainable development in an operational way."

The meeting was preceded by a technical workshop held on 6 December by the EC, ESA and EUMETSAT. The aim of the workshop was to bring African, European and international users and organisations together in order to prepare the technical groundwork for todays meeting.

GMES is being developed in steps through the introduction of pilot phase services, starting with three fast track services (land, marine, emergency) by the end of 2008
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Contact: Mariangela D'Acunto
mariangela.dacunto@esa.int
39-069-418-0856
European Space Agency
Source:Eurekalert

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