Nieuwsbericht 11 February 2022

A new collaboration with Enabel to monitor Sahelian rangelands

Enabel and VITO Remote Sensing kick off a new collaboration to support pastoral communities in Niger

We are proud to announce the kick-off of a new collaboration with the Belgian Development Agency (Enabel). We will work for Enabel in the REPO project that supports pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in western Niger. Within this REPO project (2021-2024) Enabel is contributing to the resilience and social and economic stability of pastoral communities in Niger. One of the main objectives of the project is to support a sustained access of pastoralists to resources such as rangelands and water points. Access to reliable data where pastoralists can find the best grazing grounds and how much biomass is actually available for the herding livestock is crucial information the pastoral communities.

With this new collaboration we will support Enabel to elaborate a technical roadmap for the mapping of pasture biomass from space. The collaboration is kicked off with a workshop in Niamey, Niger (14-17 February 2022) where VITO and Enabel will come together with the different authorities and institutes that deal with pastoral resource management. The aim of the workshop is to align with the local actors and define which information on pasture is most relevant and how to collect it. The user feedback will allow us to define the user needs and objectives which are crucial to develop a satellite based monitoring system that can truly support the pastoralists.

Some of the topics that will be dealt with in the workshop are:

  • Discuss the importance of dry biomass for pastoralists, and how we can measure this on the ground, and from space.   
  • Evaluate existing pastoralist surveillance systems and look for synergies. 
  • Connect with local partners to assist us in the collection of ground data.  


We are very happy to join forces with VITO, which will strengthen our support to our Nigerese partners in using remote sensing data to take more informed decisions about the management, the protection or the restauration of pastures and water resources in Niger.  

Toon Driesen - Innovation Advisor, Enabel


The outcome of the workshop will steer the focus for further discussions. Two more workshops will be organized where we will dive into the technical details. The end goal is to deliver a roadmap to Enabel that defines how biomass of rangelands in Niger can be mapped from space, and what is required to do so. Stay tuned for more.