Refresher courses 2011
Refresher courses, which are certificate courses (mostly of two-week duration) organised for alumni in their home countries or regions, are meant to increase the impact and prolong the effect of earlier training.
Refresher courses are funded mainly by the Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP). In principle, the target group of these courses consists of alumni who have completed any NFP-funded training or education at least two years before the planned starting date of the relevant refresher course. Colleagues and supervisors of alumni are also allowed to participate in (part of) a refresher course. Furthermore, alumni of earlier DGIS and SAIL projects may participate.
Refresher courses 2011
Application of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Interferometric SAR (InSAR) in Geo-environmental Mapping and Modeling
5-16 September 2011
There has been tremendous progress in sensor technology both airborne and spaceborne during the last years. Two very clear trends can be observed: (1) on the demand side, the request for more detailed data at high currency and (b) on the supply side satellites producing increasingly higher resolution data and the operational maturing of active sensor systems. These opportunities need to be harnessed for sound environmental management and accelerated development in sub-Saharan Africa.
This refresher course entitled “Application of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Interferometric SAR (InSAR) in Geo-environmental Mapping and Modelling” was initiated with two reasons in mind:
- Much of sub-Saharan Africa is poorly covered by optical remote sensing. In the absence of cloud free datasets from airborne and spaceborne activities, radar is the only alternative. The latter, unlike all other optical datasets, can be acquired any time of the day (even by night) and is not dependent on the weather (haze, rain, etc) or other parameters.
- Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) is a powerful technique that uses differences in reflected radar signals acquired at different times to measure ground-surface deformation. It relies on measuring the phase difference between two (or more) images from satellite-based radar acquired with a nearly identical incidence angle to construct an image of the surface deformation (up to few centimetre-scale vertical deformations) between satellite passes. In recent years, InSAR has been used successfully to investigate deformation resulting from Earth surface deformations (e.g., land subsidence, landslide, neotectonic activities, earthquake, flooding, etc.). These and many other phenomena associated with surface deformation are recurring environmental problems that impacts communities in Africa.
Targeting Urban Poverty Alleviation (TUPA)
19-30 September 2011
Urban poverty is a major issue which many alumni who are working in cities of Tanzania and the East African Region have to deal with. Finding ways to reduce poverty and inequalities at the local level is a major challenge for them. Nowadays it is also clear that gender should be a strategic component to succeed in the poverty alleviation challenge. Gender equality and empowerment of women is a key to achieve more equal and sustainable cities. One of the set of tools we disseminate is the UN-Habitat Agenda indicators where gender equality crosscuts all the domains and is one of the Agenda stated seven commitments. One of our partners in this refresher course (UN-Habitat) indicates: “In 2010, UN-HABITAT estimated that nearly one in three urban dwellers in developing regions lives in a slum. The challenges of slum life often vary depending on gender, and there is a particular need to ensure that the specific needs of women and girls are adequately met in policies and programmes on urban development and housing, making up for long-standing areas of discrimination or disadvantage”.
Dimensions of Biofuel Cropping; Improved Insight through Updating Spatial Assessments
3-14 October 2011
This course updates previously gained knowledge and skills developed in training programmes of the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) of the University of Twente (UT). Biofuel cropping will be reviewed in a natural resources management (NRM) context. This involves per default a multidisciplinary approach. Many disciplines such as mapping and monitoring vegetation biomass, quantifying natural resources, types of spatial data and processing technology, stakeholder involvement, decision making etc. are all constantly under development to better fit our information requirements for sustainable development.
Insight in quality, quantity and distribution of biofuel resources and changes therein requires knowledge and skills in land cover mapping and monitoring Demonstration and hands-on practicals will expose participants to newly developed techniques, data and the latest thinking in this field of science. This is highly relevant to the African society in order to plan and implement developments in a sustainable manner.
Remote Sensing of Soil Parameters for Erosion and Fertility Studies
31 October - 11 November 2011
Developments in earth observation and GIS dynamic modelling are rapid, thus life long learning is essential in keeping up with these developments. The course will provide participants with the state of the art in these fields and hence will bring the participants to a higher training level revitalizing the skills learned during the original NFP study programme. The course intends to combine state-of-the-art earth observation to derive surface parameters, use newly developed change detection methods and remote sensing to assess land-use/land-cover changes and combine these high spatial data sets with erosion physical models in a GIS environment. Hence the course prolongs the effect of the original training as it intends to combine knowledge on remote sensing and change detection with GIS models.
Insights into land degradation and soil erosion are dramatically changing over the past years and have been prominently placed in the context of discussions on climate change. These new insights will also be discussed in the course. Finally we feel that on-site training offers opportunities to include fieldwork not easily achieved in the Netherlands. This will also help in increasing the technical know-how of the people on the ground and enable them to convince the policy makers of the importance of the ever increasingly important remote sensing technology and GIS tools.
Combating Drought Using Geo-Spatial Information and Participatory Modelling
7-18 November 2011
Awareness, training and education in environmental management have been identified as a major point of focus of the African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (AARSE). The priority in drought preparedness is based on the implementation of preventive measures for lands that are prone to degradation while designing mechanisms to rehabilitate the severely degraded ones. Through this refresher course the participants will be strengthened to apply new analytical methods and new ways of approaching stakeholders and involve them in the identification of the causes and impacts of drought and desertification, and finally to formulate strategies and plans to prevent desertification and mitigate the effects of drought. The emphasis of the course is to build capacity in participatory approaches in managing natural resources. Exchange of experiences and contributions from the participants themselves will help to sustain the new acquired skills and insights.
This course builds on the previous knowledge and skills developed during earlier training. The refresher course will further develop these abilities by introducing new concepts and knowledge in the field of climate change, the use of new tools and techniques for drought vulnerability and risk assessment and by bringing participants up-to-date with recent developments that have taken place worldwide in the prevention and mitigation of the impacts of climate change. The course will take a project-centred approach where the participants will focus on a particular problem and will perform analysis in attempt to find solutions. Particular attention will be paid to the application of geo-information, systems analysis, participatory modelling and scenario analysis to develop alternative planning strategies and technology transfer to combat drought.
Climate Change and Carbon Assessment for the Benefit of Community Forest in Central and Southeast Asia
7-18 November 2011
The greenhouse gases effects and the carbon cycle, in particular carbon emissions and carbon sequestration, are at the heart of climate change, one of the most pressing problems the Earth is facing. Global instruments like the UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol, CDM, and IPCC reports all address these, resulting in an explicit link with the International Environmental Agenda. The accurate quantification of the various components in the carbon cycle forms a core need for its assessment, monitoring, modelling, and the mitigation of adverse climate effects and, in the end, sustainability of livelihoods in many parts of the earth. The latter requires identification, analysis and development of policy instruments in order to handle the impacts of the foreseeable changes in the carbon cycle.
Within the carbon cycle, forestry in the broad sense forms the principal scientific area for research including both emissions (sources) and sequestration (sinks). Afforestation, reforestation and deforestation are the current Kyoto focal areas, but sustainable forest management, including certification, and the assessment and prevention of forest degradation may well be considered in the so-called post-Kyoto period of REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries). Due to size, inaccessibility of the forest resources, and international requirements for a uniform methodology, quantification of the carbon cycle components in both space and time leans heavily on remote sensing, GIS modelling and related statistical tools.
Biodiversity, Climate Change and Conservation
14-25 November 2011
Through this refresher course the southern African community of natural resource and environmental management practitioners will be strengthened in combining the development of biodiversity assessment and ecosystem modelling skills, as well as developing training materials.
Awareness, training and education in conservation and environmental management have been identified as a major point of focus of the African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (AARSE). The course brings together professionals from a variety of operational organisations involved with spatial information for sustainable development. Participants are stimulated to look across mono-disciplinary boundaries and actively exchange experiences and to come to an inter-disciplinary assessment of current practice of biodiversity for environmental assessment in their home countries/organizations.