[OSGeo Africa] Website, Final Statement Int. Symposium on Land Cover Mapping for the African Continent

Aslam Parker APARKER at ruraldevelopment.gov.za
Wed Sep 11 03:32:55 PDT 2013


>>> "Parcher, Jean" <jean_parcher at ios.doi.gov> 9/9/2013 5:22 PM >>>

Dear Participants of the International Symposium on Land Cover Mapping
for the African Continent,

On behalf of the Organizing Committee, we wish to thank you all for
participating in the Symposium. Your participation and valuable input
during the roundtable and discussion exchanges are greatly appreciated.

On behalf of Tsinghua University, we have posted the presentations,
agenda, and participation list on the following website:
Also attached to this email you will find the participation list and
Final Statement. We are still in the process of completing the Final
Report of the Symposium. We will send out the report when it is
In response to the request to set up an Africa GEOSS Working Group on
Land Cover Mapping, the Organizing Committee is working on an
invitational letter for the first meeting to be held in Addis Ababa
during the Africa GIS conference. We will send out more information
Again, thank you all for your wonderful participation and your synergy
to carry forward on the recommendations in the Final Statement.
Jean Parcher
Program Manager
DOI International Technical Assistance Program
1849 C Street, NW, MS 3530 Rm # 3554
Washington DC 20240
202 513-0840
512 470-8819 (cell)
jean_parcher at ios.doi.gov

Final Statement
International Symposium on Land Cover Mapping for the African Continent
June 27, 2013
The International Symposium on Land Cover Mapping for the African
Continent, hosted by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)
and the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development
(RCMRD), with support from the United States Department of the Interior,
Tsinghua University and the joint USAID/NASA SERVIR program took place
in Nairobi, Kenya on June 25-27, 2013.
The Symposium brought together a diverse group of participants from
four continents (Africa, America, Europe, and Asia). Participants were
from governments, academia, and NGOS representatives from nineteen
African countries, including regional entities.
The major objectives of this three-day event were to share ongoing
technical collaboration, data availability, capacity building successes,
and to increase communication between and among the various
Land-cover data are some of the most important inputs for weather
forecasting, human and ecosystem health, climate change, agricultural
sustainability, management of water, forest and other natural resources,
land use planning, reducing land degradation, conservation of
biodiversity, and renewable energy assessment. Information on land-cover
change trends provides significant value to both the scientific
community and the general public. Therefore, land-cover information
plays a critical role in supporting policy and decision-making at local,
regional, continental and global levels.
Mapping Africa’s land cover has been facilitated by the availability of
free and open data from the US Landsat program and data
processing/analysis capabilities in African regional centres (e.g.
RCMRD) and partner countries (e.g. China, US, EU). These data and
processing capabilities have led to the creation of a new continent-wide
map for the year 2010, continent-wide samples documenting land cover
change between the 1990-2000-2010 epochs, regional maps for 2000 and
2010, regional validation datasets, and selected national and project
scale mapping for specific tasks such as agriculture, forestry and other
land use (AFOLU) carbon accounting.
However, in several countries data gaps, inadequate institutional
frameworks, missing networks of experts and technological barriers mean
that the specific needs of policy makers cannot always be met.
Therefore key recommendations from the symposium participants to
advance Land Cover mapping for the African Continent are to:
1. Contribute to the development of a land use/land cover data product
for the entire African continent at a 30-meter resolution for the
African element of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems
2. Advocate for Earth Observation data providers to adopt a policy of
free-and-open access to their data;
3. Raise awareness of the availability of land use/land cover data,
tools, applications, and land cover change dynamics among decision
makers at multiple levels;
4. Build mutually beneficial partnerships with national and regional
institutions to assess their land cover needs, such as products and
tools; while increasing their involvement in the data validation for the
global land cover data product;
5. Build capacity within and among national and regional institutions
to integrate land cover data into decision making processes;
6. Promote sound governance policies and activities that maximize the
value and usefulness of land cover data at multiple scales to decision
makers (e.g. data openness, data sharing, institutional transparency,
common data standards);
7. Establish an Africa-focused Community of Practice for Land Use and
Land Cover to facilitate networking between scientists and technicians;
8. Establish an Africa-focused Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Global
Land Cover Working Group to coordinate the above recommendations.

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