Sustainable Management of Wetlands for strengthening food security and resilience of ecosystems in West Africa (GDZHAO)
The Support Program for Monitoring of Environment and Security (GMES & Africa) is an initiative co-funded by the European Commission and the Commission of the African Union. This initiative is to use and adapt the data and services of the Copernicus program to the African context. This program is designed to specifically address African needs for water-related services, natural resources, marine and coastal areas and to provide solutions to the environmental management, mitigation of climate change and to civil security. It aims to facilitate the implementation of the policy and African spatial strategy formulated by the African Union to exploit the continent's capacity to use space science and technology for economic growth and sustainable development. In the implementation of agreement, the Commission of the African Union is "delegated authority" responsible for managing the program. Indeed, GMES & Africa aims to improve the capacity of policy makers, planners, scientists, business and the private sector to design, implement and monitor national, regional and continental policies and to promote sustainable management natural resources through the use of data from Earth Observation (EO) and derived information.
In partnership with the European Commission, the African Union through the GMES and Africa offers the opportunity for African institutions to have free access to geospatial technologies from Copernicus programs, EUMETSAT and other European distribution systems EO data. Following a call for proposals launched in May 2017 focused on areas related to water, natural resources, marine and coastal areas, thirteen (13) African consortia were finally selected including one run by the Center Ecological monitoring (CSE) in Dakar (Senegal).
The CSE has carried the project "Sustainable Management of Wetlands for strengthening food security and resilience of ecosystems in West Africa (GDZHAO)" in association with seven (7) partners are: the Geographical Institute of Burkina Faso (IGB), the University Center for Research and Application in Remote Sensing (CURAT, Ivory Coast), the epartment of Parks and Wildlife Management (DPMW, Gambia), the Center for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Services ( CERGIS, Ghana), the Center of Observation, Monitoring and Environmental Information (cosie, Guinea), the National Directorate of Water and Forests (DNEF, Mali) and the Department of Wildlife, Hunting and Protected Areas (DFCAP, Niger).
Compared to the wetlands of West Africa, the management policies hitherto developed and implemented remain very sensitive and vulnerable to environmental and societal changes and thus have shown their limits. Indeed, a very limited number of wetland sites followed with EO data with very high spatial resolution, the investment costs are often out of financial reach of African institutions in charge of managing these ecosystems. Thus, the project aims GDZHAO general objective to develop and promote a portfolio of products and services based on the exploitation of EO data (in the fields of water, vegetation and soil) to improve the knowledge and decision making on wetlands west Africa in a sustainable management for food security and strengthening the resilience of communities and ecosystems.
Specifically, the GDZHAO project plans to develop an observatory through the establishment of an environmental monitoring Geoportal intended to provide beneficiaries and users with quality products and services through the following activities: i) identification and delineation of wetlands ; ii) monitoring the dynamic surface water; iii) monitoring the water quality; iv) monitoring of invasive aquatic vegetation; v) inventory and mapping of mangroves; vi) mapping the surface state changes; vii) monitor uses of wetlands and viii) mapping and monitoring of saline lands.
The Geospatial Information provided would be of great value in improving knowledge for better monitoring and sound management of wetlands, especially in the context of West Africa, environmental and demographic changes represent a real challenge for the governance of these sensitive and vulnerable ecological environment in a context of food security and biodiversity conservation. Finally, the improvement of knowledge in the management of wetlands through EO data availability will contribute to the implementation of national policies on wetlands (PNZH) of wetland development plans (PDZH) the achievement of the Aichi targets, sustainable development goals (SDGs 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 13, 14 and 15) and the establishment of a harmonized legislative and egulatory framework for wetland management in ECOWAS. To increase awareness and sharing of objectives and expected results with stakeholders of the initiative, the CSE closely with all partner institutions at the subregional level officially will launch the project "Sustainable Management of Wetlands for strengthening food security and resilience of ecosystems in West Africa (GDZHAO) "on 11, 12 and 13 September 2018, in Dakar (Senegal).