The Digital Earth Africa team recently attended the GEO virtual symposium - Global Action for Local Impact. The team presented in two different sessions and attended a number of talks over the two day event. One of our Partners, Centre De Suivi Ecologique, also presented in the session ‘EO in Support of Integrated Coastal Zone Management and Marine Spatial Planning’ on behalf of Digital Earth Africa. We thank the team at GEO for inviting us to this wonderful event.
Session 1: Global Action to Local Impact: How Do We Do That?
In this session the panel speakers discussed how to enable impact for the end users by improving data and information for better decision making. They examined how focusing on the end user and understanding their roles could improve the impact of GEO initiatives. Also discussed was the role of the Working Group on Capacity Development in strengthening knowledge and skill on impact. Here the panel explored initiatives such as documenting success stories, supporting the GEO knowledge hub and showcasing the involvement of local communities in co-design of programs such as the rehoming of giraffes in Lake Baringo, Kenya using DE Africa’s services.
The moderators and panellists came from all over the world including Armenia, Kenya and China. The panellists included Kenneth Mubea, User Engagement Manager from the DE Africa Establishment Team, Titus Letaapo from the GEO Indigenous Alliance (The Sarara Foundation, Kenya), Mark Noor from Africultures (HCP), Catherine Lilian Nakalembe from GEOGLAM (NASA Harvest; University of Maryland), and Kenneth Kasera from AfriGEO (RCMRD, Kenya). The session had 110 participants from a range of industries including government, NGOs, academia and private sector.
Session 2: Harnessing the Power of Inclusive Voice in GEO
In this session Ms. Ummul-Kuthum Ali from State University of Zanzibar (SUZA) presented on the inclusion of women in preserving mangroves in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Ummul is passionate about how women can be included in actions to mitigate climate change in their local communities and has been using the tools and services from Digital Earth Africa to analyse the mangroves. She has gathered important insights that can apply directly to conservation efforts to protect and restore the mangroves. Ummul notes that this work has given ownership to the restoration efforts for the mangroves back to the community. The Digital Earth Africa ‘Introduction to the DE Africa Sandbox’ training program has been integrated into the curriculum of GIS courses at SUZA. Thanks to this and the SUZA Digital Earth Africa student club, there are now over 120 graduates of the training course from the university.
The panellists for the session were from various institutions including Bente Bye from EuroGEO (Norway), Stuart Marsh from EDI SG (UK), Ummul-Kulthum M. Ali from Digital Earth Africa (Tanzania), Florian Franziskakis from GEOSEC, Amber Kremer from AmeriGEO (US), and James Rattling Leaf Sr. from the GEO Indigenous Alliance (US).
To learn more about the impact of Digital Earth Africa on the mangrove conservation in Zanzibar with the students at the State University of Zanzibar, you can view the Amazon Documentary as part of the Amazon Web Services Climate Next series - The Essential Mangrove.