Building Water Management capacity for Africa –TIGER Initiative
A TIGER Initiative training course on Advanced Earth Observation Methods in Water Management was organised and co-hosted by the Water Research Commission (WRC), Department of Water Affairs (DWA) and the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) in collaboration with the European Space Agency and the Institute Technology Centre (ITC) of the Netherlands. The course was held at Hartbeeshoek at SANSA facilities from 5 December to 9 December 2011, while the Climate Change negotiations (COP 17) were taking place in Durban. Various aquatic scientists and students from African countries attended this training course that entailed a Short Training on Data Dissemination System and Regional Water Information Systems.
Following the training course, the ESA, in collaboration with WRC, SANSA, DWA and ITC then held the TIGER Workshop on 12 and 13 December 2011 at the Glenburn Hotel in Zwartkop.
TIGER is an international initiative that was launched in 2002 at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg aimed at supporting African countries to enhance water management by exploiting the advantages offered by Earth Observation technology. This event represents the closure of a cycle of activities that were launched as part of TIGER II (2nd phase) in 2009.
The workshop is an important milestone aiming at reviewing the activities carried out in the past few years in the context of this international initiative and explores together with African partners the main water management priorities for the future.
Addressing the workshop delegates in Glenburn Lodge, Mr Dhesigen Naidoo, the CEO of the Water Research Commission, stated that African initiatives such as TIGER could consider the possibility of a Low-Carbon economy while reducing overreliance on foreign knowledge and science and technology. There is a need to develop a strategy to support the national, SADC and Africa Climate Change Response Strategies in the water domain.
"The TIGER initiative was endorsed by the African Ministerial Council on Water (AMCOW) in 2006 and since then AMCOW has actively participated in the TIGER Steering Committee. Africa is the region of the world where the need for water information is more urgent and vital'' said Diego Fernandez-Prieto of the European Space Agency.
''The TIGER’s goal is to assist African countries to overcome problems faced in the collection, analysis and dissemination of water related geo-information by exploiting the advantages of Earth Observation technology. To date more than 20 training sessions in Africa and Europe have been held'' Diego Fernandez-Prieto concluded.
In Southern Africa specifically, one typical example of a significant contribution made by the TIGER Initiative is the Soil Moisture Monitoring project with sensors that monitor changes in soil moisture content, undertaken during TIGER I by Professor Geoff Pegram of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The WRC is a hosting institution for the Southern Regional Office of the TIGER Initiative.
For more information contact
Mr Chris Moseki – Research Manager, Water Resource Management
Tel: 012 330 0340