South Africa's role in gathering information and monitoring global change received a mayor boost with the launch of the South African Earth Observation System (SAEOS). This according to a keynote address by Minister Mosibudi Mangena at the launch of the South African Earth Observation Strategy and the South African Environmental Observation Network Egagasini Node.
The importance of a system of a geospatial infrastructure to co-ordinate the collection, assimilation and dissemination of earth observation data to support decision-making processes in South Africa has become much clearer in recent years.
The SAEON design is continuously being refined to respond to emerging environmental issues, and corresponds with the GEO societal benefit areas. The current SAEON themes are Water, Soil, Nutrient Cycling, Biodiversity, Disturbance Regimes and Climate Change. The SAEON is relatively unique in the southern hemisphere and is the first in Africa.