Darmstadt/Addis Ababa – The 10th EUMETSAT User Forum in Africa takes place at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) conference centre in Addis Ababa on 1-5 October 2012. The forum is being organised in collaboration with the Ethiopian National Meteorology Agency, UNECA and the African Union Commission.
The purpose of the EUMETSAT User Forum in Africa is to reinforce the well-established dialogue between EUMETSAT and the African user community in order to facilitate the use of EUMETSAT satellite data throughout the continent. Satellite data enhances weather forecasts and supports operations in various socio-economic sectors such as transportation, agriculture, environment and disaster risk reduction. The forum also provides the opportunity to identify actions and initiatives that could be taken by EUMETSAT and its partners to strengthen the capacities of African users in the service of African citizens.
This 10th EUMETSAT User Forum in Africa marks two decades of the exploitation of meteorological satellite data in Africa. Over 200 participants from more than 60 countries representing National Meteorological and Hydrological Services from Africa and Europe, African regional institutional bodies, government agencies and regional scientific and technical institutions are expected to attend. Some 53 African countries will be represented.
The forum offers the opportunity to share thoughts and experiences and look ahead to strengthening the use of Earth observation in Africa in the next two decades. Particular attention is being given this year to the use of satellite data for monitoring climate change and in support of the development of renewable energy in Africa and the move of the continent towards a green economy.
The forum will also include a “Climate Day”, which is jointly organised with UNECA’s African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) on 3 October 2012. The event presents how African stakeholders can structure and strengthen their existing capacities to respond to decision makers’ needs in terms of climate information.
The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites is an intergovernmental organisation based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently with 26 European Member States (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom) and five Cooperating States (Bulgaria, Estonia, Iceland, Lithuania, and Serbia).
EUMETSAT operates the geostationary satellites Meteosat-8 and -9 over Europe and Africa, and Meteosat-7 over the Indian Ocean. The third Meteosat Second Generation satellite, MSG-3, was launched on 5 July 2012 and will be renamed Meteosat-10 after commissioning is complete.
Metop-A, the first European polar-orbiting meteorological satellite, was launched in October 2006 and has been delivering operational data since 15 May 2007. It will be replaced by Metop-B, which was launched on 17 September 2012.
The Jason-2 ocean altimetry satellite, launched on 20 June 2008, added monitoring of sea state, ocean currents and sea level change to the missions EUMETSAT conducts.
The data and products from EUMETSAT’s satellites are vital to weather forecasting and make a significant contribution to the monitoring of environment and the global climate.
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