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Digital Earth Summit Steps into Africa
 Date: 2018-05-13  Page Views:

The 7th Digital Earth Summit 2018, on the theme of ‘Digital Earth for Sustainable Development in Africa’ was held in El Jadida, Morocco, at the Faculty of Science, Chouaib Douakkali University from April 17-19, 2018. The series of the summit, hosted by the International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE), came to Africa for the first time. The summit was organized under the high patronage of the Majesty the King Mohammed VI, and in partnership with the African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (AARSE) and the Moroccan Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (MARSE).

The objective of the summit is to bring together scientists and professionals from the African and international community to present latest achievements, discuss challenges and share experiences on Digital Earth related technologies and their applications for the sustainable development of Africa. The summit tries to facilitate the African in witnessing the Digital Earth challenge and offering possible scientific solutions, to accelerate the digital transformation of the continent. The conference featured 8 keynote speeches delivered by leading scholars, technical sessions with reports of the latest research outcomes. Around 200 experts from five continents leaned to discuss research issues on Digital Earth in line with the expectations of international and national stakeholders working on Earth observation and geospatial information.

The three plenaries, 15 sessions, plus panel discussions and side meetings, have covered the topics of Digital Earth capacity building, Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI), big data, space policy, programmes and projects, as well as commercial exhibitions showing latest products and services in Digital Earth and geospatial information technologies. Among the activities programmed during this conference is the official launching of the International Center of Excellence on the Applications of Earth Observation Science and Technology in the Management of Water Resources, and the framework of the International Digital Belt and Road (DBAR) program initiated by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

The opening ceremony was chaired by Prof. Kamal Labbassi on the day 17th. Prof. Guo Huadong (President of the International Society for Digital Earth), Mr. Mohammed El Guerrouj (Governor of El Jadida), Mr. Yahia Boughaleb (President of Choua?b Doukkali University), Mr. Mohamed KHALFAOUI (Director of the National Center for Scientific and Technical Research), the representative of the Secretary of State of the Minister of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water, and the Dean of the Faculty of Sciences, were invited to be guest and gave the opening remarks.

Two keynote presentations including ‘DBAR for sustainable development in Africa’ by Prof. Guo Huadong from CAS, and ‘Radio Science investigation as an effective tool for monitoring Earth’s freshwater’ by Dr. Kamal Ouadrhiri from NASA, were given afterwards.

ISDE secretariat General Dr. Mario Hernandez chaired the following panel discussion on the topic of the ‘How can African Nations benefit from Earth data to improve resource and decision management’, with 7 speakers from CAS, NASA, Africa union, AARSE, CODATA, UNOSSA, and GEO.

The 7th International Digital Earth Summit is one of the important academic conferences for Africa in the field of Digital Earth and spatial data and geo-Information in the year 2018, which brings together experts and scholars from the field of Digital Earth in Africa and the world, and discusses the theme of sustainable development in Africa. The successful convening of this conference is of great significance for promoting the development of Digital Earth Science research, global data and spatial information technology in Africa, and offering the Africa a sustainable development efforts guided by the Digital Earth concept. At the same time, the summit has a catalytic role in promoting and expanding the concept of Digital Earth in Africa.

The International Society for Digital Earth was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Its objective is to promote and disseminate the ‘Digital Earth’ vision together with international research institutions, academic scholars and science organizations.

For detailed report, please visit ISDE website.


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