The partnership established in 2010 between the French Agency of Development (AFD) and Astrium, aims to freely distribute SPOT satellite images to governments, public institutions and NGOs that work for the sustainable management of forests in Central Africa. Financed by the AFD for a total amount of € 8.5 million, the program is coordinated by several French institutions highly specialized in the field of spatial observation,gathered in a consortium led by IGN France International and composed of the following entities: the National Centre for Spatial Studies (CNES), the National Institute of Geographic and Forest information (IGN)and the Institute of Research for Development (IRD).
The official ceremony for the signature of the “national authority” license for the use of SPOT satellite images that took place on June 1st at the Yaounde Hilton Hotel, marks the strong commitment of Cameroon in the fight against climate change. This ceremony occurs shortly after Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo and Central African Republic signed the same licenses on the occasion of COP17, the 17th United Nations Conference of Parties on climate change, last December.
Organized by the Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and sustainable development, this ceremony was held in the presence of the Minister of Environment Pierre HELE, the French Ambassador, the director of the AFD agency, and of representatives of IGN France International, the company leading the consortium in charge of the project, and of Astrium.
With 20 million hectares, the forest of Cameroon is the second largest forest in Africa. Therefore it represents a crucial stake for the economic development of the country and for Africa in general.
Spatial observation has been used for a long time by professionals of the forestry sector as a decision support tool for planning, forest management, inventory work and forest mapping. The archive data, in addition to the acquisition of new images, will be reference data for the country and will contribute to more accurate analysis, to more suitable development policies and to assess the commitments related to REDD+.
This signature of the “national authority” license now allow governments, public institutions and NGOs in Cameroon to take advantage of these images and of the added value services associated, so that those data can support them in their projects and help them strengthen their knowledge of land use.