Kenya will host the first Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (MESA) Forum in Nairobi Kenya from 31st August – 4th September at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The Forum will examine how Earth Observation data through the MESA Project supports policy, planning and decision making at the national, regional and continental level in Africa.
Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission, H.E. Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, said: “By enhancing access to and exploitation of relevant Earth Observation applications at continental, regional and national levels, the MESA Project contributes to the increase of information management, decision-making and planning capacity of African institutions mandated for agriculture, environment, climate, fisheries, food security and related responsibilities. This is critical for African regional integration”
The EU Delegation to the African Union on their part through Mrs. Anna Burylo, Head of Cooperation, said: “The EU is strongly committed to ensure that MESA contributes effectively to the establishment of a coherent framework for the development of Earth Observation activities in order for space to strategically contribute to Africa’s socioeconomic development.” Also speaking at the briefing, Zachary Atheru , the Project Manager for MESA IGAD, stated that: “the Forum comes at a time when data is being used by organisations to plan and execute initiatives that have a long term social and economic impact”.
The MESA Forum is set to run for five days. During this time delegates will get the chance to exchange best practices that have helped African Governments and organisations to establish coherent frameworks for the development of Earth Observation activities which are influencing policy for environmental sustainability for future generations.
The Forum has the theme “Streamlining MESA products and services towards the decision making cycle in support of sustainable environmental management” and will be organised by the African Union Commission (AUC) together with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources with the support of the European Union. It will bring together 250 international delegates comprising of decision and policy makers, planners, earth observation data users and experts from across the continent.