In October 2010, the Government of Cameroon, represented by the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, Department of Civil Protection, officially requested a UN-SPIDER Technical Advisory Mission to assess the use of space-based technology and information for disaster management and emergency response in Cameroon, identify potential areas where space-based technology and information could play a greater role, and propose recommendations on how to improve Cameroon's access to and use of space-based technology and information. After Burkina Faso, Ghana, Namibia, Togo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and Sudan this was the ninth UN-SPIDER advisory mission to Africa, followed immediately by the tenth TAM on the continent to Nigeria.
A team of eleven international experts was fielded to Cameroon from 6 to 10 June 2011. The team included representatives of UNOCHA Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Senegal, the Regional Center for Training in Aerospace Surveys (RECTAS), Nigeria, the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Nigeria, the Algerian Space Agency (ASAL), the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Nigeria, Planet Action, France, DMC & DMCii, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd., UK, and UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER. This broad range of expertise and in-depth knowledge guaranteed a high quality of technical advice and an excellent base for south-south cooperation and technology transfer at the same time. The mission has bridged various organizations involved in disaster management within the country, and the presence of ASAL, RECTAS and NARSDA (which is also a Regional Support Office of UN-SPIDER), strengthened the links of Cameroon with these organizations, which can enhance valuable advisory support and regional cooperation.
The mission team visited a number of ministries located at Yaounde and a formal stakeholders workshop was carried out with over 30 Government organizations, agencies, and universities involved in disaster management activities. The observations and preliminary results were presented during a debriefing session with the Director of the Civil Protection Department of Cameroon and the stakeholder delegates of the workshop. A technical report with recommendations is being prepared by the mission team and will be officially submitted to the government of Cameroon. These recommendations will tie into the planned review of disaster management plans and provide input for the development of new policies and guidelines.