The European Union boosts its support to earth observation applications in Africa with a new 37 million EUR program ‘Monitoring of Environment and Security in Africa (MESA)’, formally approved1 in December 2011. The program will run from 2013 until 2018, with the objective to address the need for improved management of natural resources and environmental security towards sustainable development in Africa, at continental, regional and national levels, including all Sub-Saharan African countries.
Monitoring of soil and water conditions for agriculture, tracking forest degradation and desertification, providing information to policy and decision makers in order to lessen and/or adapt to effects of climate change and reducing the risks of natural and human made disasters, for example, are all areas where MESA will bring added value.
MESA builds on over 10 years of EU support to earth observation applications in Africa and brings the EU financial contribution through the European Development Fund to a total of nearly 70 million EUR since 20012.
The Meteorological Transition in Africa/ Preparation for the Use of Meteosat second generation in Africa (MTAP/PUMA) was the first pan-African initiative in support of earth observation technologies for meteorological purposes, from 2001 until 2005. The Africa Monitoring of Environment for Sustainable Development (AMESD) program, running from 2007 until 2013, has taken PUMA a step forward by extending the use of earth observation technologies and data to environment and climate monitoring applications.
MESA builds on the results of AMESD and offers additional information services (especially continent-wide monitoring of a range of parameters related to climate change) and training, not only in support of public needs, but also contributing concretely to policy-making and planning efforts for improved management of natural resources in sub-Saharan Africa.
The program is implemented under the coordination of the African Union Commission, which has been delegated by 5 regional economic communities (CEMAC, ECOWAS, IGAD, IOC & SADC) and by the African Caribbean and Pacific Secretariat to act on their behalf as Delegated Regional Authorising Officer. The EU Delegation to the African Union is the lead delegation for the management of the program.
1 By the European Development Fund Committee
2 This amount does not include other support provided through research and development grants.
European Union External Action, EEAS