The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) will soon be supplying the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) with Earth observation (EO) products and services, which would support the implementation of key programmes, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor announced this morning.

She was speaking at the opening of the five-day (8-12 May 2017) International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment (ISRSE-37), currently under way at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria.

"Two weeks ago, SANSA signed a memorandum of understanding with NEPAD to provide products and services to support the implementation of key programmes such as sustainable agriculture and food security, integrated water resource management, sustainable forestry management, as well as urban planning and infrastructure monitoring," she said.

Minister Pandor said the satellite-based remote-sensing products and services provided by SANSA would play a fundamental role in aiding spatial decision support systems that were required for the implementation of NEPAD's 2025 Vision on the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme, the Action Plan for the NEPAD Environmental Initiative, and the Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative.

The signing of the memorandum of understanding is well timed, as SANSA has just completed a new five-year strategic framework that positions the agency as a provider of space-based products and services through co-development with partners in the region and the rest of Africa.

The EO-based products and services will support the strengthening of country planning and evidence-based policy formulation throughout the continent.

Held on the African continent for the second time, ISRSE-37 provides a platform to showcase the rapid development in African space science and technology programmes. It also presents an opportunity to strengthen existing linkages and develop new areas of cooperation with the South African EO community.

The symposium will focus on, among other topics, biodiversity and ecosystems; food security and sustainable agriculture; sustainable urban development infrastructure and transport management; national and international EO programmes; education and outreach; current and future EO missions and programmes; climate, weather; atmosphere and polar and cold regions.

Participants, who include scientists, academics and policy makers from all over the world, will also be given an opportunity to explore Tshwane and South Africa's unique natural and cultural heritage.



Issued by the Ministry of Science and Technology.

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