INSPIRE Knowledge Base


Long term ecological observatories network in Circum – Saharian zone
Mission and Objectives: 
The fundamental objectives of ROSELT are: (1) the long-term surveillance of the evolution of ecological systems, (2) the research into better understanding of the interactive functions between populations and their environment at local level, in particular the respective and/or synergetic roles of climatic and anthropological variations in land degradation. In order to achieve these objectives, ROSELT was primarily designed as a long-term monitoring network (over several decades) with continual collection of “ecological” data, covering all aspects of the rural environment. ROSELT is equally designed to function as a research ‘platform’ in order to promote harmonised methodologies for information collection and processing, and to better understand the mechanisms which lead to desertification. Use and enhance existing knowledge Historically, definition and evaluation of environmental change have been applied in numerous countries according to a thematic approach, which is all too often sector-based. Often the data mass produced is disparate, dispersed between various institutions (i.e. inaccessible), corresponding to a limited period, etc. ROSELT/OSS tries hard to bring together, validate, and use these resources, to establish an initial diagnostic of the territory and to serve as a basis for a harmonised monitoring strategy and data collection. The use of this validated, historic data, allows for a faster construction of the relevant indicators of environmental change in the arid and semi-arid circum-Saharan area. Set up a harmonised environmental monitoring system One of the fundamental mandates of ROSELT/OSS is to become a standard reference in Africa for the collection and processing of environmental data used for the evaluation of changes in ecosystems and agro-ecosystems. It must also provide to those involved in development planning appropriate, effective and harmonised tools in order to assist them in decision-making at the different required levels. Assure the long-term continuity of the monitoring system - A lower cost environmental monitoring system - Institutional presence of ROSELT in National Policies - Reinforcing of the Countries’ technical and scientific capabilities Make the knowledge usable for development planning - Tools for the Processing and Circulation of Information For the harmonisation of release of information produced by the network, equal emphasis is placed on the use of processing, communication and distribution tools: o An integrated system for information processing: LEIS-ROSELT (Local Environment Information System); o A tool for communication within the network: the website; o A metadata management tool: to reference and share all the information on historical and collected data within the network’s observatories. The networked structure of ROSELT encourages exchange between the observatories and between countries. The structure is an operational framework which promotes interaction amongst parties interested by a particular topic. - ROSELT/OSS decision-making tools ROSELT/OSS products are prepared with view of providing managers and development managers with information on the state of the territory under observation, the risk of desertification of the territory in time and in space, and the key elements for the interpretation of this risk. There are two major types of product: o Initial and periodic diagnostic of the territory at local level: o Indicators of environmental changes and of the risk of desertification at the different levels concerned
Formal Mandate: 
ROSELT/OSS and international agreements, in particular the implementation of the Convention to Combat Desertification (CDD) in Africa: local to regional The ROSELT/OSS programme fully subscribes to the Rio declaration and to Agenda 21 (conventions on bio-diversity, climate change and combating desertification), and is a key mechanism of the three proposed and approved conventions the United Nation Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). Its strategy is part of a hierarchical and participative approach, focusing on local and sub-national levels to provide for needs at national, sub-regional and regional levels in a coherent manner. It takes into account the characteristics and particularities of the zone in which the OSS is involved, (eco-climatic, socio-economic and cultural). the Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD), in particular through the National and Sub-Regional Action Programmes (NAP and SRAP), in collaboration with international organisations and programmes. ROSELT in the OSS ROSELT is a key programme running by the Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS). Within the framework of the OSS’s "Strategy 2000", it constituted the core of the leading programme for the implementation of a Device for Observation and Monitoring Desertification in Africa (DOSE, Dispositif d'Observation et de Suivi de la Désertification). This programme relies on three principles: to capitalise on the information available in Africa, to process it and organise its circulation. Within DOSE, the ROSELT programme was run in parallel with the “Circulation of Desertification Information System” Programmes (SID-SISEI) (Programmes Systèmes de Circulation de l’Information sur la Désertification) and “IMAGES” (the use of satellite imaging in desertification monitoring. ROSELT is, from this point on, integrated into “Monitoring-Evaluation of the Implementation of the CCD in Africa” programme, the OSS organisational framework. This programme exists thanks to close collaboration between the OSS and the sub-regional African Organisations (CILSS, IGADD, UMA). In this context, ROSELT contributes to the implementation of national environmental monitoring and monitoring-evaluation systems for action programmes to combat desertification. ROSELT and Desertification The fundamental purpose of ROSELT is to improve knowledge of the mechanisms, causes, consequences and scope of desertification in arid and semi-arid zones of the circum-Saharan area. In spite of the quantity and quality of research work on land degradation in arid and semi-arid zones, very little research has been conducted into the dynamic links between the biophysical conditions of land degradation (including desertification) and population lifestyles. Faced with the problem of desertification, societies have for many years developed mechanisms to protect themselves against its detrimental effects the best as they can. There is a long tradition of migration of populations during the dry season, mobility of herds (the importance of transhumance), extensive and highly dispersed crops to reduce economic and climatic risks, etc. This adaptive response of societies clearly denotes the existence of strong links between societies and their environment; links that are important to understand before undertaking development action or renewable resource management initiatives. Furthermore, the scientific community and research beneficiaries are faced with a serious lack of environmental data over a sufficiently extensive period of time to determine trends through reliable indicators.
One of the fundamental duties of the Regional Operator is to propose and harmonise scientific and technical concepts and working methods within the network. It is also responsible for the design, assurance and preparation of decision-making tools for development planners. During the start-up phase of the network, work was focused on the definition of activity schedules for observatories, which were divided up into the three categories as described in the table shown in Figure 5. They were for the most part implemented in chronological order (monitoring, processing, products) in several observatories, using methodologies that were common practice within the partner institutions. The following operational phase was focused on the definition and development of products common to the network, and is based on methodological proposals coordinated by the Regional Operator. These propositions allow for the analysis of the suitability and quality of parameters measured, notably for the development of indicators of change. This chapter presents these methodologies, which will be used to structure the information collected by the programme. The structure will depend on the requirements of the end product. The methodologies will be used in the progressive definition of the minimum dataset, which is to be common to all observatories within the network: - The concepts and methodological proposals for the study of environmental change, in particular desertification; - ROSELT decision-making aids; - The tool for the processing of Environment Information: LEIS (Local Environment Information System). It also present the device of the Regional Operator for the inventory and circulation of information including: -A distributed metadata management tool : MDweb; -A website
OSS, observatory of Sahara and Sahel is the contractor of the ROSELT program. A consortium composed of IRD (French Research Institute for developing countries) ,the leader institute, coordinate, animate all technicals and scientifiicals aspects of this program Eleven African countries compose the observatories network : Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Marocco, Mauritania, Cabo verde, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Kenya and Ethiopy For each country one or more national institutions are identified to be in charge of the biophysical and socio-economical variables data collection in the field, of data management and processing, cataloguing and dissemination of decision making data

Which role(s) do you foresee for the SDIC in INSPIRE development

  • submit reference material as input to the Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • allocate experts to Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • collect and describe user requirements related to Environmental policies
  • yes
  • register a project to test/revise/develop the draft Implementing Rules
  • yes
    Geographic Domain
    Circum saharian zone
    Societal Sector
    inter gouvernemental program
    Specific Expertise
    Specific Expertise: 
    Previous Experience relevant for INSPIRE development
    the implementation of environmental data system in ROSELT program (since 2000) in collaboration of various research french institute , the PADOUE Project (Sharing environmental data project) as metadata module leader with LIRMM (Informatic laboratory of MOntpellier) - DeSurvey european program (40 partners) as designer and implementation leader on metadata and cataloguing tool
    Environmental application domains
    biophysical and socio-economical monitoring
    Primary Business
    public Research for developping countries