Review: Forum of the Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (MESA)

In this year’s Forum of the Monitoring for Environment and Security in Africa (MESA) from 31st August – 4th September 2015 in Kenya, participants discussed the use of Earth Observation data for policy, planning and decision making processes in Africa, provided by the MESA project. 

The Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission, H.E. Tumusiime Rhoda Peace highlighted that MESA incorporates a variety of stakeholders, such as African decision-makers, experts, service providers and the user community, which enables comprehensive communication and interaction in different fields of expertise.  

Prof. Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and Regional Development Authority of the Republic of Kenya explained her experience with MESA: "Before this, my office and team members had to travel physically to protected areas which took several days and incurred huge costs. Thanks to the MESA projects, KWS can now get a snapshot of satellite images of the protected areas on a single page. That is a clear example of how these technologies and the ones to be discussed here over the next five days impact our everyday lives. The funds saved from such initiatives can be now channeled by Government to further research and innovation towards safeguarding our environment". 

The MESA project is funded by the European Union and implemented with the coordination of the African Union Commission, as well as steered by the Regional Economic Communities and Inter-Governmental Organizations.