GMES and Africa CSE consortia conduct studies on West African Wetlands

Rural economies in West Africa depend on wetlands because they are providing goods and ecosystems services (food and energy, medicine, building material, dry season grazing, and transportation for large human populations). In the Inner Delta of the Niger River over 550,000 people with about a million sheep and a million goats use the floodplains for post-flood dry season grazing.

Well protected wetlands serve as nature’s kidney by removing pollutants from surface and groundwater. Improved water quality, flood control, wildlife, and fisheries habitat, habitat for animals and plants, and recreational opportunities are some of the benefits of wetlands. Wetlands also protect shores from waves, reduce the impacts of floods, absorb pollutants and improve water quality.

It has been argued that information on wetland ecosystems and their services are difficult to integrate into decision making since the information is often scattered. However, Earth Observation (EO) satellites can provide the information needed for accurate wetlands inventory, assessment, and monitoring, and for updating data in this area. To fill this gap, the African Union-led, Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa Programme (GMES and Africa Programme), granted the GDZHAO consortium.

According to lead authors Dr Abdoul Aziz DIOUF and Dr Mamadou Adama SARR, Earth Observation experts at the Centre de Suivi Ecologique (CSE) Dakar, two abstracts of the project entitled: i) GMES and Africa: Connecting Space to West Africa Wetlands for Enhancing Food Security and Ecosystem Resilience and ii) Surface water extraction using Sentinel-2 images in West African Wetlands have been accepted for oral presentation at the AfricaGIS 2019 international conference which will be held from 18 to 22 November 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda. 

The study on Surface Water Extraction using Sentinel 2 images has been carried out to monitor the water extent dynamics into the sixteen wetlands sites. It analyzed the performance of five remote sensing indices, computed from Sentinel-2 satellite images across the wetland reserve of the Gambia.

The African Union Commission through its GMES and Africa Programme is providing Earth Observation derived Services for Sustainable management of wetlands for the strengthening of food security and resilience of ecosystems in West Africa. The Service is implemented by lead consortia the Centre de Suivi Ecologique (Dakar) along with eight stakeholder countries: Burkina-Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinée, Mali, Niger, and Senegal.

To learn more about the CSE led consortia Service click here

To learn more about the GMES and Africa supported Consortia click here