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Multi-layer Natural Resources and Land Use Database and Map for Darfur / obsAIRve

GAF to establish a multi-layer Natural Resources and Land Use Database and Map for Darfur (21.03.2011)

GAF has been awarded a contract by the Darfur Land Commission (DLC) to set up a Natural Resources and Land Use Database and Map for the whole of Darfur.

The overall objective of this project is the establishment of a multi-layered and dynamic state-of-the-art natural resources information system that provides basic land management and planning information and thereby will enable decision makers to develop and manage Darfur’s natural resources in a sustainable way. The DLC was established on 13th July 2007, as an integral part of the Transitional Darfur Regional Authority (TDRA), in order to address traditional and historical issues of land tenure and to review natural resources management. The TDRA, the interim authority for the Darfur region of Sudan, was established in April 2007 under the terms of the Darfur Peace Agreement signed in May 2006. It is based in Khartoum and has branch offices in the three states of Darfur.

The TDRA is defined by the Darfur Peace Agreement as being the principal instrument for the implementation of that agreement and is tasked with enhancing coordination and cooperation among the three Darfur states: West Darfur, South Darfur, and North Darfur. Its primary responsibilities include facilitating the return of refugees and internally displaced persons, coordinating the restoration of security, and promoting peace and reconciliation.Generally, the Natural Resources and Land Use Database and Map for Darfur Project aims to increase the government’s long-term institutional and technical capacity to manage Darfur’s natural resources, including agricultural land, natural areas, forests, minerals, water, cities, towns and villages. This will establish a basis for poverty reduction and also rural economic renewal in selected areas of the country, via the development of non-farm and farm income, thereby improving the social and economic welfare of the community and promoting a better environment.

This database will help decision makers and planners to establish plans for agricultural development and other land livelihood initiatives and to select the potentially most productive areas for investment and development projects. With a comprehensive capacity building component, the project will also enable the key rural and urban development and planning institutions to perform their tasks efficiently.

Dr. Peter Volk, CEO of GAF, comments, “We are very happy about the award of such an important project relating to the Darfur Peace Agreement. This multi-thematic project comprises geology and minerals, geomorphology, soils and land suitability, water resources, ecological and biological information, land cover, land use and socioeconomic conditions. The provision of such a broad range of expertise is one of the outstanding strengths of GAF.” Eng. Adam Abdel Rahman Ahmed, Commission President, states, “We are very happy that such a worthwhile project is to be implemented that gives the people of Sudan in general and the people of Darfur in particular great expectations with regard the realisation of peace and stability. Such an unprecedented project will no doubt be seen as revolutionary throughout the whole Sudan as a unique example which could be replicated in other parts of the country. To conclude, when the project has reached a successful end, DLC expects to play a great role in maintaining sustainable development and peace in the region, thus leading to the solving of major problems with regards to natural resources and land use.”

obsAIRve – Europe-wide air quality monitoring and forecasting (28.01.2011)

GAF AG has been awarded a contract by the European Commission to develop “obsAIRve”. In its role as consortium leader, this project will involve GAF together with the partners T-Systems, German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Umweltbundesamt (Austria) designing and developing a new air quality system for the European public.

Air pollution directly affects the health and quality of life of human beings – on local, regional and global levels. Hundreds of thousands of premature deaths each year in Europe are caused by fine particles in the air. In addition air pollution is responsible for the formation of harmful trace gases like ozone (the so called summer smog) and can cause acid rain.

Monitoring and forecasting of air quality are essential for the prevention and avoidance of risks, as well as for the provision of warnings. Reliable air quality forecasts covering periods of up to 3 days are now possible by combining satellite based and in situ observation data using statistical computations and numerical models. “obsAIRve” will apply results obtained from Europe’s superior air quality forecast systems. This will ensure one uniform European air quality service providing real-time and user-friendly data across Europe.

The main intended user groups are citizens, the health and leisure sector as well as public authorities. “obsAIRve” will disseminate air quality information via dedicated web portals and mobile applications using T-Systems ICT infrastructure. The information will enrich existing services such as weather and environmental portals. Additionally, individual notifications will be available to specific user groups on request. This enables people at risk to behave according to environmental conditions.

“obsAIRve” intends to bridge the gap between research results of GMES related projects and the European public. The awareness of the citizens for environmental issues and activities of the European Commission shall be increased by setting up dedicated marketing campaigns at the European level. “obsAIRve” is part of the European “GMES” initiative. The project will initially be financed by the European Commission as a pilot project for a period of three years.


German Aerospace Center (DLR) is responsible for all of Germany’s space related activities, including satellite launching, data reception and the carrying out of research at the forefront of modern space based technology. Through its German Remote Sensing Data Centre, DLR offers cutting edge climate and atmospheric products and related services. For more details please refer to the websites: and

Umweltbundesamt (Environment Agency Austria) will participate as a partner from the institutional sector. It will provide its expertise in the fields of air quality and the assessment of human health. Its long experience in GMES-related projects, especially regarding user and stakeholder inclusion and communication, will also add value to the project. More on Umweltbundesamt:

T-Systems: Drawing on a global infrastructure of data centers and networks, T-Systems operates information and communication technology (ICT) systems for multinational corporations and public sector institutions and provides integrated solutions for the networked future of business and society. Some 45,300 employees at T-Systems combine industry expertise with ICT innovations to add significant value to customers’ core business all over the world. The corporate customers unit generated revenue of around EUR 8.8 billion in the 2009 financial year.

Supporting Partners:

  • Info-Logika (Bulgaria)
  • AIRPARIF (France)
  • DCMR (The Netherlands)
  • EGMASA (Spain)
  • Mobility Service Agency for the City of Rome (Italy)