The Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) and Makerere University held an Open Day on April 27 and 28, 2021 in Kampala, Uganda. The hybrid session involved both online platforms and physical meeting to present the milestones so far achieved in the project implementation in Uganda as gathering feedback on improvements in the three service areas.
RCMRD is the lead institution for one of the GMES and Africa consortia in the Eastern Africa region. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, the consortium addresses three service areas: Land Degradation Monitoring and Assessment, Wetland Monitoring and Assessment and Open Regional Reference Vector Database for Water and Agro-ecological zones.
RCMRD’s partners include: Geospatial Information Institute (GII) formerly Ethiopian Geo-Spatial Information Agency (EGIA), Rwanda Water Resources Board, formerly Rwanda Water and Forestry Authority (RWFA) and Makerere University. In addition, Associate Organizations in other counties include Kenya - Department of Resource Surveys and Remote Sensing, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Mauritius - Ministry of Urban Development and Land, Somalia -Benadir University, Djibouti - Ministry of Environment, Eritrea, Sudan - Ministry of Environment, South Sudan - National Bureau of Statistics). The consortium expects to help inform and equip ministries and institutions with tools that combat land degradation, thereby addressing a major problem confronting some populations.
In his opening remarks, GMES & Africa Coordinator at the African Union Commission Dr. Tidiane Ouattara emphasised the relevance of GMES & Africa to the AU Agenda 2063. “This is the first in a series of activities for outreach in the RCMRD project countries. RCMRD, Dr. Ouattara said, was delivering three services namely: Wetland Monitoring and Assessment whose value was he underscored. “Wetland is a very important source of natural resources, upon which the rural economy depends. Wetlands provide many substantial benefits not only to local society, but also to the people, who live far away from wetlands. These benefits are mainly numerous services, flood control, groundwater recharging and pollution reduction, biodiversity, agriculture and food security and ecological and economic values.