In 2002, responding to the urgent need for action in Africa stressed by the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), the European Space Agency (ESA), within the context of the Committee of Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), launched the TIGER initiative. The overall objective of the initiative is to assist African countries to overcome problems faced in the collection, analysis and use of water related geo-information by exploiting the advantages of Earth Observation (EO) technology.
Since 2005, under the guidance of the African Ministerial Council on Water (AMCOW), with contributions from CEOS (e.g., ESA, the Canadian Space Agency), UNESCO and the African Development Bank and in collaboration with the Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA) and several other African and international organizations (e.g. CSIR, CRTM, Ramsar-Africa, South African Department of Water Affairs) TIGER has supported African partners with access to space-borne data and products, by offering specific training on EO applications for water management, by funding North-South collaborative projects aimed at developing tailored EO-based water information systems, and by favoring take-off, operationalisation and technology transfer of those demonstrated systems to African water authorities.
TIGER has completed its first implementation period (2005-2007) involving more than 150 African institutions (water authorities, universities, technical centers) through its projects and training activities. The results and achievements of these first years of activity have been recognized at the First African Water week organized in Tunis on 25-29 March 2008 with a direct recommendation:
.International initiatives like . TIGER which provide useful tools to the countries to strengthen their capacities for ensuring water security should be encouraged and supported..
As a direct response to this African request, a new implementation period of the TIGER initiative has been proposed aiming at supporting African countries to enhance their capacities to better understand, monitor and manage water resources.
A major component of this new phase is devoted to support African scientists to develop the scientific skills and the technical capacity to make the best use of Earth Observation technology to better understand, assess and monitor the status of the water resources in Africa as well as the potential impacts of climate change, hence establishing sound scientific bases for developing effective adaptation or mitigation measures at political level in the continent. A call for proposals was issued in 2009, which resulted in the selection of 20 projects submitted by African scientist, water authorities and technical institutions.
Please click here to download TIGER documentation.