Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) recently joined several experts from across Africa, the United States, Europe, Central America, and Asia to present at the 3rd Annual AfriGEOSS Symposium in Libreville, Gabon. The primary focus of the symposium, which took place June 25–28, was on expanding the network of earth observational data providers and scientific resources available to African nations for guiding policy decisions, promoting sustainable development, and building long-term resilience.
The AfriGEOSS initiative was developed by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and is designed to provide a framework for countries and organizations to leverage ongoing bilateral and multilateral interactions on earth-observational data. “PDC was enthusiastic to represent the U.S. delegation at AfriGEOSS as part of an extended partnership with the Department of State Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and Science (State OES),” said Humanitarian Assistance Advisor, Steve Recca.
During the five-day symposium that drew more than 150 attendees from 20 different countries, discussions focused on minimizing duplication of efforts to benefit all of Africa. The annual symposium brought together stakeholders from across disciplines to share knowledge, collaborate, and make use of existing assets and resources. Mr. Recca presented on PDC’s DisasterAWARE technology and the organization’s broader capabilities in the field of disaster risk reduction and resilience-building. He said, along with other PDC services, DisasterAWARE technology could be a vital resource for the GIS technical specialists and decision makers who are members of AfriGEOSS. He said, “The unique decision support platform integrates a vast collection of scientifically-verified, global observational data and geospatial information that can be easily accessed and analyzed through one tool.”
PDC’s participation in AfriGEOSS marks another milestone in an ongoing effort to support greater resilience in Africa. PDC’s recent and current engagements with Sierra Leone and with other partners in West Africa are focused on disaster risk reduction and humanitarian assistance efforts. “We are eager to take advantage of this opportunity to help reinforce the great work and collaboration happening through AfriGEOSS,” said PDC Director of Disaster Services Dr. Erin Hughey. “To be a part of this network, focused on helping members achieve their national and regional goals—and to support the United Nations Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Development—is an honor for PDC and extends the work we’ve been doing globally for decades throughout other regions of the world.”