At the Earth Observation summit (July 31, 2003), the European Commission subscribed the goal to involve and assist developing countries in improving and sustaining their access to data and products related to Earth observations. In the context of this summ it, the European Commission intends to promote the involvement of the developing countries in the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative, with the ambition to provide to policy makers in those countries better information on which to base their decisions. The objective of the project is to combine all above goals and intentions, by distributing VEGETATION data from the SPOT satellites to all African countries. The goal is to set up, in the framework of GMES, an operational capacity based on the SPOT VEGETATION system in support to sustainable development policies in Africa. We want to produce and distribute operationally different kind of VEGETATION based data and information to a well identified user community in Africa (i.e. the P UMA network) through the EUMETCAST telecommunication facility provided by EUMETSAT for what regards the space segment, and the European Development Fund for what regards the ground segments in Africa. This activity will complement the future EDF-funded AME SD project. The main properties of the operational demonstration could be defined as follows: Focus exclusively on the African continent. Ensure data delivery free of charge. Prepare the conditions for operational data delivery for a significant period of time in order to allow real users to incorporate the products in their operational monitoring systems, i. e. until the end of the VEGETATION programme and of the AMESD project (2008). Deliver advanced products in addition to currently available standar d 10-day NDVI products. Advanced products will be identified among a pre-operational product portfolio in partnership with end users of the PUMA network according to their needs.
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