AMESD is a partnership between the African Union Commission (AUC) and the European Union (EU). AMESD was kicked off in October 2007 and is expected to run until mid 2013. Its funding from the European Development Fund reaches €21 million. The AMESD program addresses the need for improved environmental monitoring towards sustainable management of natural resources in five regions of sub-Saharan Africa, namely CEMAC, ECOWAS, IGAD, IOC and SADC (RECs). There are 48 ACP countries in these Regional Economic Communities (RECs), home for many of the poorest people of the world, where economies and livelihoods are highly dependent on the environment, renewable natural resources and climate variability.
The overall objective of this program is to enhance monitoring for preparedness and adaptation to environmental change, including sustainable management of the environment thereby contributing to poverty alleviation in the poorest area of the world.
The purpose of the program is to increase the information management capacity of African regional and national institutions in support of decision makers at different levels and to facilitate sustainable access to Africa-wide environmental information derived from Earth Observation technologies.
Five Regional Thematic Actions (THEMA) are being established by the RICs to develop appropriate information services, in order to address the already prioritised decision needs of the RECs in the fields of (i) water resources management; (ii) crop and rangeland management; (iii) agricultural and environmental resources management; (iv) mitigation of land degradation (including forest exploitation) and conservation of natural habitats and; (v) marine and coastal management.