The 15th EASCO Meeting
21-25 October 2009
Strategic Priority in Soil Information Package for Better Land Care in East and Southern Africa
The Organizing Committees:
1- Technical Committee:
a. Dr.Abdelmagid Ali Elmobarak
b. Dr. Fawzi Mohamed Salih
2- Reception and Transportation Committee:
a. Prof. Abdalla Ibrahim Elhagwa
3- Media Committee:
a. Mr. Pio Kur Deng
The 15th East and Southern Africa meeting was hosted by ARC, Land and Water Research Centre, at ARC HQ in Wad Medani, from21st to 25th October 2009 in quest of the “Harmonization and Dissemination of Soil Knowledge for Sustainable Land Management”. The meeting was co-organized by FAO and ARC, Sudan. The Programme included: (i) plenary sessions of presentations and discussions and (ii) field trips.
The meeting and Field Trips aimed at:
(i) Promoting soil correlation activities of national and regional levels for better appraisal and evaluation of soil resources for increased and sustainable production,
(ii) Analyzing and standardizing good land management and agricultural practices,
(iii) Updating soil knowledge in member countries, and
(iv) Promoting the use of soils/lands characteristics in the implementation of diverse conventions.
In the opening ceremony on the first day of the Meeting, 21.10.2009, the D.G. of the ARC, Prof. A. Hamada addressed the forum of 300 partakers and 100 participants, including 13 delegates from East and Southern African countries, warmly welcoming them in Sudan (and especially in ARC) and wishing them a homely stay and a successful mission. Similarly the Governor of Gezira State, Prof. Elzibeir Bashir Taha and the UNDP Representative in Khartoum spoke to the Meeting.
Two key-note Papers were presented, one from FAO under the title (New Challenges for Land Specialists: food security, climate change and agricultural land market) and the other from Sudan (Land Resources in Sudan). The country presentations and discussions started and continued through the second and third days (22 and 23.10.2009). Accordingly 12 country papers from 12 country delegates were presented – namely, Botswana, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Mauritius, Lesotho, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe; also three others papers followed from Sudan, the host country.
However on the fourth day (24.10.2009) the first field excursion was conducted with four stops introducing some soil type and land use to the participants with highlight son their classification using USDA system of classification and World Reference Base.
On the fifth day (25.10.2009) the second field excursion was performed with two stops introducing the soils of the Gezira Scheme and two visits:
- One visit was paid to Kilo 108 for the Gezira main canal and the water delivery system
- The other visit was paid to the Land and Water Research Center (LWRC) of ARC and other Centres of the ARC..
Nevertheless the highlights of the closing ceremony covered the farewell speech by D.G. of ARC, followed by the encouraging comments of the FAO – Representative in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and lastly the comprehensive worlds of the State Minister of Science and Technology in Khartoum.
The cultural night at LWRC and the departure of the delegates and participants next day marked the close-up of the 15th EASCO Meeting with all its imprints and anticipations.
The most important outcome of this meeting is a framework for adoption of Strategic priority in soil information package for better land care in East and Southern Africa.
Finally, we received a letter from the FAO regiona office in Addis Ababa, stating the ARC and its Land and Water Research Centre has been chosen as Centre of Excellence for future projects to be implemented in the Region.
Programme of the 15th EASCO Meeting
For more information please please contact:
Dr. Abdelmagid El-Mobarak
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