The 7th African Association
of Remote Sensing and the Environment (AARSE) conference, is underway in Accra, to map out strategies of using satellite sensing as a source of managing Regional environmental resources.
The four-day conference being attended by about 600 participants on the theme: “Geo-Information for Governance in Africa,” would also discuss forest monitoring, risk management and agriculture, and promote research and scientific collaboration between Africa and academic institutions.
Experts in remote sensing such as the International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS), Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Geo-science and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS) and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), would help to strengthen African space technology and sustainable management of natural resources and the environment.
Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, who opened the conference, pledged the commitment of Ghana towards a regional action plan to strengthen co-operation for building capacity, sharing of data information and expertise for the sustainable management of disaster, agriculture, coastal and marine eco-system.
He asked the participants to deliberate on strategies that would facilitate the effective education of African policy makers on the role of geo-spatial technologies in the management of sector-wide plans and programmes.
Alhaji Mahama stressed: “We need to think of innovative ways to bridge the geo-spatial science-policy gap in Africa.”
“There is no doubt in my mind that we need, as developing countries, a fast track technological capacity to develop space-based monitoring and evaluation systems for disaster management, strategic environmental assessment of our plans, policies and programmes for enhancing our economic and social development management initiatives.”
President of AARSE, Dr. Tsehaie Woldai said the conference was the biggest gathering of remote sensing experts and a premier forum in Africa.
He noted that wide application of geo-information technologies has the potential of improving the quality of life in Africa.
AARSE comprises 37 African countries and more than 320 non-African countries.
Professor Ian Dowman, President of ISPRS, called for home grown projects to solve the problems of Africa.
Prof. Tony Milne of IEEE/GRSS said his organisation would sign a Memorandum of Understanding with AARSE to forge a joint venture to promote remote sensing.
Dr Giovani Run, a remote sensing expert said geology had become a political issue that required proper and updated information to tackle.