European satellites to aid African efforts to combat climate change


EUMETSAT, African Union Commission sign agreement for cooperation on climate monitoring

African nations’ capacity to mitigate the impacts of climate change have received a significant boost through an agreement designed to share the benefits of Europe’s next-generation meteorological satellites.

The African Union Commission (AUC) and Europe’s meteorological satellite agency, EUMETSAT, have signed an agreement to formalise their cooperation under the ClimSA programme.

The Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States and the EU initiated ClimSA - the Intra ACP Climate Services and Related Applications Programme - to improve climate services. The AUC coordinates its implementation in Africa.

"This agreement strengthens EUMETSAT’s long-standing cooperation with Africa by committing us to providing data from our next-generation satellites, technical support and training to African regional and national climate centres," EUMETSAT Director-General Phil Evans said.

"Our next-generation Meteosat satellites, the first of which will be launched at the end of this year, will make more, and higher resolution, data available to the African meteorological and climate community.

"This is a first step towards empowering Africa through provision of Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) data. More will be needed to ensure African experts are equipped to make best use of the data."

Evans and Her Excellency Ambassador Josefa Sacko, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment in the African Union Commission signed the agreement on behalf of their organisations.

Ambassador Sacko, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment of the African Union said: "ClimSA contributes to Africa’s achievement of a number of the AU Agenda 2063 Goals and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Of direct relevance is the achievement of Goal 7 of the AU Agenda 2063 ’Environmental Sustainability and Climate Resilient Economies and Communities’  and the UN Sustainable Development Goal 13 ’take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts’. This agreement, therefore, marks a new milestone in the cooperation between the African Union Commission and EUMETSAT.

"ClimSA is enabling African meteorological and hydrological services to completely renew their current EUMETCast stations - receiving stations for EUMETSAT data - to ensure that they are capable of receiving and processing MTG data. This improved access to information, which is essential for monitoring the impacts of climate variability and change, will benefit decision making as well as development planning processes at all levels."