GeoVille, together with DHI GRAS (Denmark), ITC (Netherlands) and Brockman Consult (Germany) as well as the technical universities in Copenhagen (Denmark) and Vienna (Austria), has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to carry out the GlobWetland Africa Project.
African wetlands are among the most productive and biologically diverse ecosystems in the world. Human activities, however, like drainage for agriculture and settlement, excessive exploitation by local communities and improperly planned development put many of these under immense pressure. The future of African wetlands lies in a stronger political will to protect them, based on sound wetland policies and encouragement for community participation in their management.
ESA and the Ramsar Secretariat have jointly launched GlobWetland Africa as a major initiative to provide the major actors involved in the implementation of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in Africa, with Earth Observation methods and tools to assess the conditions of wetlands under their areas of jurisdiction/study, and to better monitor their trends over time. The project will enable African authorities to make the best use of satellite-based information on wetland extent and condition for better measuring the ecological state of wetlands. To this end, an open source and free-of-charge software toolbox will be developed for the end-to-end processing of a large portfolio of EO products (including wetland inventory, wetland habitat mapping, inundation regimes, water quality, mangroves mapping and river basin hydrology). In addition, the project will also organize regional training courses for the partner organizations and ensure technical assistance during a period long enough to allow for an appropriation of the provided methods, tools, and products.