You are here

Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES)  © ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO © ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Promoting more sustainable management of natural resources by improving decision-making through the use of earth observation (EO) data.

The Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), an initiative of the European Union and the European Space Agency (ESA), is being developed to provide, sustainable, reliable and timely services related to environmental and security issues in order to support the needs of users and public policymakers.

Historically, there have been numerous earth observation initiatives in Africa that seek to address the same needs. However, one of the major drawbacks is that some initiatives have been founded on short timelines and are therefore not able to address targeted needs in a sustainable manner. GMES & Africa seeks to establish continuity in a more sustainable way by building on the infrastructure and capacities established by earlier projects such as PUMA (Preparation for the use of meteosat second seneration in Africa), AMESD (African monitoring of environment and sustainable development), and MESA (Monitoring of the environment and security in Africa). 

This project is funded by the EU under the Annual Action Programme 2015 of the DCI Pan-African Programme.

The African Union (AU) Commission signed a Cooperation Arrangement with the European Commission (EC) in Brussels on 12 June 2018 to facilitate AU’s access to Earth observation data from the Sentinel satellites of the Copernicus Programme.

The overall objective of the project is to promote more sustainable management of natural resources by improving decision-making processes through provision of additional relevant information. Its specific objective is to improve the capacity of African policymakers and planners to design, implement, and monitor national, regional and continental policies and to promote sustainable management of natural resources through the use of EO data and derived information.

The main activities are in the following five key areas:

  • Access to earth observation data: maintain and install receiving stations, upgrade existing software, strengthen access to Copernicus data.
  • African water & natural resources service: consolidate existing water and natural resources services, design new regional and continental applications.
  • Marine and coastal environments service: consolidate existing marine services, and extend them to other regions in Africa.
  • Capacity building: establish a cooperation framework with universities, pursue existing training courses to support GMES.
  • Awareness raising: adopt awareness raising strategies and practices in the development and provision of GMES & Africa services/applications.