What: This webinar is part of the series of webinars that will be conducted for the desert locust challenge. During this webinar, we will introduce the challenge, mentors and participants as well as introduce our approach for this challenge. The webinar brings together diverse groups of people including representatives from FAO who are at the heart of updating the world as well as funding different organisations in the struggle through FAO Emergencies, representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture Uganda who are at the centre of the fight locally, representatives from the Desert Locust Control Organisation for Eastern Africa (DLCO-EA) and the Regional Centre For Mapping Resource For Development (RCMRD) as well as innovators who will design appropriate solutions for this challenge through the hackathon. We shall explore the various technologies and operation tactics used by different bodies to combat the spread and breeding of locusts as well as enable our innovators to identify different areas of innovation from the lessons shared by speakers. As many countries across East Africa are battling with the challenge of desert locusts at the moment, it is important to support local initiatives through feasible innovations. Therefore, the webinar will be a stepping stone and pointer for how the Desert Locust Challenge Hackathon shall be carried out
Why: Many countries across East Africa are battling the challenge of desert locusts at the moment as they move across the region. It is therefore important to support local initiatives to monitor and control the locusts, with relevant geospatial risk maps of outbreak for the timely location of desert locust development and gregarization risk zones. It is important to come up with innovative ways for early detection of the locusts to avoid greater loss and enable quicker intervention.
Who (is the webinar for): Farmers and farmers’ associations, academia and researchers, and NGO’s, policy makers, governments
Kizito Odhiambo is the founder and CEO of agriBORA an agri-tech platform digitizing, quantifying and monitoring crop production across East African farms. Kizito’s academic background is in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology from the Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany. He is a technology enthusiast working on IT and data science projects that are leveraging the use or remotely sensed data for the agricultural sector.
Denis Macharia (MSc) has trained in environmental and climate change science. He has expertise in a number of fields, including climate change, coral reefs, spatial conservation planning, spatial and statistical modeling, remote sensing, GIS and spatial analysis. He works with the SERVIR project at the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) as the Weather and Climate lead. SERVIR is a global project co-implemented by NASA, USAID and regional centers of excellence. It uses earth observations and geospatial technologies to develop solutions for addressing societal challenges in the developing world. Prior to joining SERVIR-E&SA, his work focused on understanding the implications of global and local threats to coral reef health and their long-term prospects, and on provision of socio-economic benefits in the Western Indian Ocean through the use of Earth observation, GIS, and ground observations. His work resulted in several peer reviewed articles and books, including setting up of community managed marine conservation areas in Kenya. His interest in geospatial modeling and his ambitions to expand his knowledge of how humans affect and manage the environment, and in turn, how environmental variability affects society, drove his desire to join SERVIR-E&SA, initially as a Remote Sensing technician in charge of the disasters program and later progressing to the level of a thematic lead in the project. He is currently advancing the development of decision support tools in the area of climate change vulnerability, supporting various national and regional initiatives, and participating in global exchanges that advance best practices in climate change vulnerability mapping and assessments. He is a certified scuba diver, an aspiring saxophone player, and enjoys outdoor activities.
Weather and Climate Lead, SERVIR Eastern & Southern Africa
Catherine Lilian Nakalembe (PhD) has broad interest including agriculture and food security, early warning and assessment of disasters with remote sensing. She is the NASA Harvest Africa Program Lead and serves as the Agriculture and Food Security Thematic Lead on the NASA SERVIR Applied Sciences Team. She leads capacity building in the use of Earth Observations (EO) data (remote sensing and electronic field data) for agriculture monitoring in support of food security in the GEOGLAM context. Catherine works with national ministries of agriculture in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Mali and regional agencies ICPAC and RCMRD and with development partners including LWR, World Bank, UNDP, JRC, FAO, WFP, and FEWSNET. Catherine pioneered the repurposing of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from agricultural monitoring, to the survey of major refugee resettlements in Uganda.
Catherine Lilian Nakalembe
NASA Harvest Africa Lead
Kenneth Kemucie Mwangi is a satellite information expert working in Eastern Africa. His academic training is in Environmental Engineering and he has a Master of Science degree in Geospatial Information Systems and Remote Sensing. He coordinates an initiative that utilizes satellite derived and field collected crop data to inform regional organizations, farmers and private companies in the Horn of Africa. Recently he has been leading the monitoring and prediction of desert locust in the region providing planners and locust control organizations with early warning information on the pest movement. He is also part of the global EO desert locust working group.
Kenneth Kemucie Mwangi
Thematic assistant, Agriculture & Environment, ICPAC
Bente Lilja Bye has been a member of the GEO community since 2004, engaged both as representative in the GEO plenary, in committees and contributing to the GEO Work Programme, and currently represents Norway on the GEO Programme Board. Bente runs a small research and consultancy company, BLB, focusing on transforming Earth observation data to information and knowledge for societal benefit. She is responsible for Communication, Dissemination and Assessment as partner in NextGEOSS.
Bente Lilja Bye CEO, BLB & webinar host on behalf of Plan4all