The High-Level Europe-Africa Forum on Earth Observation from Space was held by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The initiative was co-organised by the Portuguese Presidency, the African Union Commission, the European Commission, the European Space Agency, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), the Portuguese Space Agency and the AIR Centre.
14 years after the 2nd EU-Africa Summit, which was held in Lisbon and which was the starting point for cooperation between the two continents in the area of Earth Observation, Portugal is once again playing a fundamental role in reinforcing this partnership, and bringing together high-level representatives of governments and the European and African Commissions, as well as members of space agencies and industry and the European and African academic and scientific communities.
Being the coordinating entity of GMES&Africa in North Africa, with 3 operational developed services 1) Seasonal agriculture monitoring, 2) Water abstractions monitoring in irrigated areas and 3) Land degradation monitoring, the OSS took part in the Forum and was represented by Mr. Mustapha MIMOUNI, who made a summary presentation on the GMES accomplishments with a focus on EO for food security achievement and a highlight on the GMES services added-value to improve crop monitoring in North-Africa.
The services were co-designed with end-users taking into consideration their needs to setup user-friendly platforms for information access and service delivery. Partners’ and end-users’ capacity building and awareness raising on Earth Observation for sustainable management of water and natural resources are key components of GMES.
The OSS put forward the need of new opportunities and good collaboration between Africa and EU thanks to COPERNICUS data and services and GMES&Africa framework.
During the event, “The Lisbon Manifesto on Earth Observation for Africa and Europe” was also signed. The manifesto provides for reinforcing cooperation in this area as a main instrument for digital and environmental transitions and fostering scientific, technological and business cooperation between Africa and Europe with the aim of developing Earth Observation satellites.