The Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa (GMES and Africa) is a joint programme of the European Commission and the African Union Commission. It serves to strengthen and further develop infrastructure for a more coherent exploitation of Earth Observation data (space and in-situ), technologies and services in support of the environmental policies for sustainable development in Africa and African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States.
Initial phase | 2017 – 2021
A successful initial phase ran from 2017 to 2021 implemented by 12 Consortia, involving 122 institutions – almost all from Africa – and 51 countries.
- See achievements of phase one on GMES and Africa blog
- See some flagship projects developed under phase I highlighted by the Copernicus Observer
Phase two | 2022-2025
Kicked-off in early 2022, the GMES and Africa phase two is currently underway, running to 2025, with an initial investment of EUR 24.65 million from the European Union.
Phase two awarded eight consortia across the African continent with grants to foster and catalyse the development of African-driven Earth Observation (EO) services and applications tailored to African needs at continental, regional and local levels. The consortia will work alongside African organisations, policymakers and practitioners, and in cooperation with the Copernicus Earth Observation Programme, the European Space Agency and EUMETSAT, to make more effective use of EO products towards sustainable management of natural resources and strengthened mitigation and adaption options in the face of climate change.
GMES and Africa will continue to cover the two thematic areas of the initial phase i) water & natural resources and ii) marine & coastal areas. Through the grants, the consortia will address the needs of operational information services in Africa covering the entire value chain: from increasing access to information and development and provision of services, to enhancing engagement and capacity of users and ensuring utilisation of these services.
The second phase of the programme also introduces a strong component on women and youth, with the decision to include 30% of women specialised in EO-related fields as part of the consortia teams.
Consortia under Marine and Coastal Operations Thematic Area (phase II)
Marine and Coastal Operations for Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean
Consortium partners: Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) (lead), ABALOBI, Benguela Current Convention, Coastal Oceans Research and Development Indian Ocean – East Africa, Institut Halieutique et des Sciences Marines, University of Dar es Salaam, Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Mauritius Oceanography Institute, National Sea Rescue Institute, Tanzania Fisheries and Research Institute, University of Eduardo Mondlane, WIOMSA
Services: Fisheries and Aquaculture, Coastal Monitoring (ecosystem, coral bleaching), and Marine and Maritime Service (ship traffic, safety at sea)
Earth Observation to Support Marine And Coastal Areas Management in North and West Africa
Consortium partners: University of Ghana (lead), Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research, Centre for Oceanographic Research of Dakar-Thiaroye, Institut de Recherches Halieutiques et Océanologiques du Bénin, Wetlands International Africa, Institut National de Développement des Pêches, The Ghana Meteorological Agency, Centre Universitaire de Recherche d’Application en Télédétection.
Services: Ocean monitoring, safety at sea, fisheries (IUU, potential fishing zones), costal monitoring & mapping, oil spill monitoring
Consortia under Marine and Coastal Operations Thematic Area
(Phase I: 2016 – 2021)
Consortium leader: University of Ghana
Countries involved: Benin, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo, Sao Tome & Principe and Mauritania.
The Marine and Coastal Areas Management in western Africa project provides five operational services using Earth observation tools:
- potential fishing zone charts overlaid with vessel traffic,
- monitoring and forecasting oceanographic variables,
- Forecasts of ocean conditions disseminated as SMS alerts
- coastal vulnerability indices and
- mapping of coastal and ecosystem/ habitats.
All products are accessible via the project’s geoportal, click here. The main datasets and products available on this portal are obtained from numerous
sources including the Regional Marine Centre, European Space Agency, the EU’s Copernicus Marine Service, EUMETSAT and Plymouth Marine Laboratories.
- Website: gmes.ug.edu.gh
- Twitter: @ug_gmes
Consortium Leader:Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa
Countries involved: Angola, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Tanzania
The Marine and Coastal Operations for Southern Africa (MarCOSouth) project will strongly contribute to the implementation of the African Space Policy and Strategy through application of world-leading satellite sensors, e.g. the European Sentinel series, with innovative and regionally optimised products. The MarCOSouth project aims to maintain, further develop and provide a sustainable platform for local, institutional, human and technical capabilities in the African partner countries that include Namibia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa. It will focus on the development of services focused on sustainable socio-economic development, empowering a wide range of users in the public and private sectors through the application of regionally-optimised satellite observations and model based forecasts in the South and East African marine and coastal domains.
- Website: marcosouth.org
- Twitter: @AfricaGmes
NAfCoast - Developing Earth Observation Operational Applications for Coastal Ecosystems Mapping, Monitoring & Assessment of the Northern African Coastal Zone
Consortium leader: National Authority for Remote Sensing & Space Sciences, Egypt
Countries involved: Egypt, Mauritania Morocco, Tunisia
The Marine and Coastal project NAfCOAST aims at developing Earth Observation operational tools for coastal ecosystems mapping, monitoring and assessment of the north African countries based on time series information that could be easily achieved by earth observation rather than other localised or limited coverage source. NAfCOAST GEO Portal includes a data viewer, layers, maps, a tool to monitor oil spills, and potential fishing zones.
- Website: nafcoast.org
- Twitter: @nafcoast
Consortium Leader: Mauritius Oceanography Institute (MOI)
Countries : Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda
The GMES and Africa Marine and Coastal Management in East Africa has two components:
- The oceanic component which consolidates three applications, Monitoring and forecasting of Physical and Biological Oceanography variables, Fishing Zones Monitoring and Protection, and 3-Day Marine Weather Forecasts.
- The coastal component consisting of the development of a Coastal Vulnerability Assessment which is intended to provide a critical mechanism to understand and explore specific ecosystem services through Coastal Vulnerability Index maps and the Coastal Ecosystem Mapping, Monitoring and Assessment.
GMES and Africa applications related to Marine and Coastal Resources Management. @GMES and Africa
Dr. Tidiane Ouattara, GMES & Africa Coordinator presents how the Copernicus Marine Service supports GMES & Africa programme
- Blog of GMES and Africa Programme Management Unit
- GMES and Africa on African Union Commission website
- GMES & Africa Selects Eight Consortia at the Award and Kick-off Ceremony for 2nd Phase – Space in Africa (africanews.space)
- GMES and Africa phase 1 results
- Copernicus Observer: GMES&Africa: Unlocking power of EO data in Africa with Copernicus
- EU4OceanObs news post: GMES & Africa: increasing use of EO data for sustainable development in Africa
- Copernicus Marine #OceanChallenge4Africa Hackathon April 2022
- EU4OceanObs | European intiatives to enhance collection, access and use of ocean observations for sustainable development in Africa