Madagascar seminars, October 20-21, 2016

The GeoDEV seminars facilitated by IRD, CNES and CIRAD – and organised by the Comité Intersectoriel de Télédétection de Madagascar (Cross-Sector Committee for Remote Sensing in Madagascar) (CITM-MESUPRES) and the IRD representative body in Madagascar – were held on October 20 and 21, 2016 at the World Bank in Antananarivo.

The seminars brought the Remote Sensing Week to an end, a science event that formed part of the programme of the 16th Sommet de la Francophonie. The seminars are held at the initiative of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research (MESUPRES Research Department) and the IRD representative body in Madagascar. The event included over 60 institutional participants from the world of research and public policy.

Plenary presentations were given by speakers from IRD, CNES and CIRAD and CITM: there was a presentation on Theia, GeoDEV and scientific work in progress. The results of the survey on space imaging requirements and resources in Madagascar, conducted by CITM with the support of the Espace-Dev UMR (Joint Research Unit), were also unveiled. Information on free info-geo resources on the internet was provided by Marne la Vallée University.

Two simultaneous workshops were held, facilitated by IRD (the Espace-Dev and Gred UMRs) and CITM.

The workshops were devoted to the prospects for organising an inter-institutional skills centre in Madagascar, with the outcomes feeding into the debates in the session devoted to conclusions and prospects. This session led to the formalisation of a roadmap for space-based observation in Madagascar based on pooling and capitalising on the region’s strengths for setting up a future centre for building capacities and skills in the field.

Monique Rasoazananera, minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Madagascar, closed the seminars with an announcement about the roadmap.

The first implementation activities planned following the seminars were actions for sharing the goals of such a centre on a wider scale among the satellite information user communities in Madagascar: its role, missions, structure, governance, technical organisation, operating procedures, etc.

In an attempt to kick-start this dynamic, IRD, CNES and CIRAD are planning to hold regular Madagascar workshops; to mobilise a dedicated ART GeoDEV facilitator; and to harness resources for formalising a consolidated centre project.

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