Ocean Observation and Prediction for Coastal Sustainability in Africa

6 June 2023
Online Workshop

Workshop scope and objectives


Building on the outcomes of the Coastal Hazards Plenary Session and Coastline Changes workshop held during the GEO Blue Planet 5th Symposium (2022, Accra), this event will focus on identifying the priorities and needs for ocean observations and prediction to address the challenges of coastal sustainability in Africa.

Presentations and discussions will leverage extensive work led by international groups on the regional strategy for sustainable marine and coastal development for Africa.

In the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want, the th AU puts emphasis on the importance of growing Africa’s Blue Economy in an equitable and sustainable way for socio-economic expansion, regional cooperation, and the environment. The subsequent Africa Blue Economy Strategy provides guidance for the development of an inclusive and sustainable blue economy including topics such as ecosystem conservation, environmental sustainability, climate change and coastal infrastructure and governance.

In addition, the Ocean Decade – Africa Roadmap provides a coordinated framework for ocean science planning and uptake through 9 priority actions including Sustainable Ocean Management in Africa (1), Unlocking the Blue Carbon Potential of Africa (3) and Strengthening Multi-hazard Early Warning Systems and Community Resilience (5).

In order to sustain the blue economy to reach its potential, whilst ensuring the functioning of ecosystem services upon which it is built, international frameworks have been designed such as National Adaptation Plans (NAPs – UNFCCC), Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP – IOC/UNESCO) or Sustainable Ocean Plans (SOPs – Ocean Panel).

This workshop is designed to explore the potential role of ocean observation and prediction in addressing stakeholders needs aligned with the AU blue strategy and the Ocean Decade Africa Roadmap focusing on:

  • Coastal geomorphology changes
  • Coastal flooding and inundation
  • Coastal ecosystem mapping

Expected outcomes

  • enhanced cooperation between stakeholders and the observing and modelling communities,
  • collection of stakeholder priorities and requirements in terms of ocean observations and prediction, especially for the description of the baseline state of coastal zones,
  • elaboration of international concerted action plans to address those, and
  • proposed guideline for the GEO Blue Planet Coastal geomorphology changes working group actions.

Identified stakeholders include UN bodies, regional organisations and programmes, and national groups working on coastal management.

Outcomes are expected to be complied in a peered-review publication following the workshop.


Subject to minor changes.

6 June 2023 | 2pm EAT (UTC+3)




14:00 – 14:10 Introduction and overview of the:

  • GEO Blue Planet initiative
  • Coastal geomorphological changes Working Group
  • Workshop Introduction
Emily Smail – GEO Blue Planet Executive Director (NOAA & University of Maryland) Audrey Hasson – GEO Blue Planet EU coordinator (Mercator Ocean International)
14:10 – 14:15 Interactive poll #1
14:15 – 14:30 Keynote 1: governmental level who have used EO for either NAPs or regional decision making Ahmed Mohamed (GO Blue project/ UNEP)
14:30 -14:45 Keynote 2: Coral reef and coastal vulnerability to climate change in East Africa David Obura (Cordio East Africa)
14:45 -15:00 Panel Discussion
15:00 -15:05 Interactive Zoom poll #2
15:05 -15:25 Discussion/ Networking with Kumospace web-based application Audience
15:25 – 15:40 Break
15:40 – 15:55 Flash introduction presentations from coastal services/ products providers with success story

  • GMES and Africa – Ignatius Williams (University of Ghana)
  • Digital Earth Africa – Lisa Rebelo
  • EMODnet – Kate Larkin (Seascape Belgium)
  • Copernicus Marine Service – Isabel Garcia Hermosa (Mercator Ocean International)
  • Copernicus Coastal Hub – Audrey Hasson (Mercator Ocean International)
15:55 – 16:20 Flash introduction presentation from stakeholders / superusers of EO systems to address coastal challenges:

  • IOC UNESCO Sub Commission for Africa and the Adjacent Island States – Mika Odido
  • African Union Commission – Mahaman Bachir Saley
  • AfriGEO – Phoebe Oduor (RCMRD)
  • World Bank – Anne-Laure Beck (Argans)
  • UNEP GEMS Ocean and Coast – Joana Akrofi
  • Abidjan Convention – Barthélémy Bathieno
  • Nairobi Convention – Nathan Majwa
16:20 -16:25 Interactive Zoom Poll #3
16:25 – 16:45 Panel Discussion (requirements in terms of stakeholder engagement, collaboration and co-design, and capacity building to achieve coastal sustainability in Africa)
16:45 -17:00 Discussion/ Networking via application KumoSpace
17:00 – 17:05 Concluding remarks + Interactive Zoom Poll #4

Workshop partners