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GAF AG earth observation technology for IFAD supports rural development projects in Niger

(17.05.2013) GAF provides state-of-the-art earth observation resources to create baseline data that support project activities in Maradi, Niger. Based on optical earth observation data with very high spatial resolution, products and services for an area of 34.500km² will be delivered in order to provide recent and objective information over the entire region.

International financial institutions (IFIs) provide financial support and professional advice for development activities on a local to regional scale in developing countries. Their activities are generally organized into dedicated projects financed by long-term loans or grants covering social and economic development aspects in a wide range of fields. For certain fields Earth Observation (EO) products and services have been identified as a useful tool to: support the monitoring and management of IFI projects; to improve the efficiency of the investments made; and finally to assess the impact and social benefits of the development activity that has been financed.

The European Space Agency (ESA), as part of its Value Adding Element (VAE) programme, has been interacting with various IFIs and their stakeholders to understand their working environment and information requirements, in particular for EO services. This process has resulted in service specifications for one specific user, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which has been put out for tender.

GAF has been selected to provide state-of-the-art Earth Observation (EO) resources to create baseline data to support project activities in the Maradi region of Southern Niger, a key area of IFAD-supported project activities in the country. Over an area of about 34.500 km², GAF will provide dedicated EO products which have been customised to meet specific user requirements in IFAD supported projects. The service and related products are based on optical satellite imagery from the German RapidEye system, which provides a very high spatial resolution. The specified EO-service will deliver products such as Land Cover Maps or Digital Elevation Models, which will be validated together with the service performance by the IFAD project team and local stakeholders. The benefit of this information service will be assessed according to the objectives of the project. The main purpose of this procurement is to provide recent baseline information over the entire region, in combination with a change detection analysis of one specific area in Maradi around the city of Aguié.

GAF’s activities in this project started in April 2013 and are scheduled to conclude in November 2013.