Earth Observation contributing to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Day one of the International Symposium of remote Sensing of Environment was exceptionally well supported and highly informative for the hundreds of delegates who attended the sessions.
The symposium was officially opened by Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor who shared the significance of symposiums of this nature to the South African and African communities for the collaborative opportunities they offer with the international partners.
The Minister said, “The event provides a platform to showcase the rapid development in African space science and technology programmes.” This sentiment was iterated by the presentation from SANSA CEO, Dr Val Munsami, who following the recent signing of a MoU with Nepad, highlighted the African challenges along with opportunities for collaboration with the global EO community.
Representatives from the City of Tshwane executive team, ICORSE and ISPRS were also a part of the opening ceremony panel who welcomed the delegates to the 37th Symposium, being held in South Africa for the second time.
The first plenary provided a global oversight of the programmes by various space agencies in addressing the UN Sustainable development goals. This session proved informative and inspiring to delegates as they were taken through the extensive investment by space programmes to address local and global societal challenges.
The technical sessions that followed showcased the EO programmes from various space agencies, the significance of mapping vegetation, monitoring of climate change, EO in urban planning and infrastructure with an overarching theme of sustainability.
The programme for the day ended with a relaxing icebreaker session which allowed for the reconnection with colleagues from across borders and overseas over a glass of lovely South African wine.