The third workshop for the definition of land monitoring services in the framework of the GMES & Africa project was held at the JRC from 18 to 29 March 2019, with the participation of 13 experts from Africa.
The participants came from the ‘Agence Gabonaise d’Etudes and d’Observations Spatiales’ (AGEOS), ‘Centre for Space, Science and Technology Education (CSSTE), ‘Commission Internationale du Bassin Congo-Oubangui-Sangha’ (CICOS), the Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) and from the African Union Commission.
This workshop represents the conclusion of the activity started in October 2018 with the involvement of the GMES & Africa experts in charge of Marine and Coastal monitoring services, and the previous event in February on Land Monitoring services. Altogether, around 40 African experts were invited to the JRC for a two-week period, coming from the 13 Regional implementation centres of the project and the African Union Commission's Human Resources Science and Technology (AUC/HRST) department.
Sharing expertise and methodologies for environmental monitoring
During the workshop, GMES & Africa experts were guided through the latest version of environmental station (eStation) software, structure and coding environment. They reviewed the existing products, chains and underlying processes as well as troubleshooting procedures and guidelines, whilst listing new data sets needed for the land services as well as the new chains associated with them.
In order to allow the participants to benefit from the expertise of the various JRC teams involved in monitoring natural resources and the environment in Africa, the workshop had parallel sessions with experts from various JRC disciplines, including the bioeconomy, water and marine resources, sustainable development, food security and disaster risk management. Particular emphasis was given to the Copernicus services, and namely the Global Land component, as a basis for the implementation of operational activities.
A dedicated training session on the exploitation of Sentinel data on the JRC Earth Observation Data and Processing Platform (JEODPP) was organised on 19 March 2019, to demonstrate cloud computing as an alternative approach to the more traditional reception of Earth observation data in the local stations.
Participants expressed their thanks for the excellent training, which helped them learn a lot about the methodologies and algorithms of the eStation, and the role of the JRC in the GMES & Africa project. Based on what they learned, they plan to further develop and tailor their eStation products to the specific needs of their home countries.