Tuesday, 23 May 2017

AU, EU launch joint space-based initiative

The African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) on Tuesday launched the call for proposals for the space-based initiative dubbed the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (GMES & Africa) Grants.

At a ceremony held in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, the two institutions said it is an open invitation for eligible institutions across Africa to apply for the 30-million-euro programme, co-funded by the EU (29.5 million euros) and the AU (0.5 million euros).

The two institutions said the initiative is an Earth Observation system designed to respond to global needs to manage the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security.

Launched in November 2016, the GMES & Africa is an AU-EU joint initiative towards addressing the growing needs of African countries to access and use Earth Observation data.

The AU is the delegated authority for the implementation of GMES & Africa, which contributes to addressing increasing challenges Africa is facing in climate change, drought, desertification and other environmental hazards, said a joint statement issued along with the launch of the Call.

It was noted that it provides services for the environment and security, as well as information for policymakers, scientists, businesses and the public.

To rollout the implementation of the initiative, three thematic areas were agreed upon and prioritized through consultations with African stakeholders, including long-term management of natural resources; marine and coastal areas; and water resources management, according to the statement.

The program is also a priority under the African Space Policy and Strategy, adopted by AU heads of states.