IGN France International takes part in the 16th FICA Forum dedicated to border issues

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The 16th IHEDN (Higher Institute of National Defence) forum concerning the African continent (FICA) will take place in Paris from May 28th to June 4th 2015.

This year, the forum’s theme is the subject of borders. IGN France International will join the African Union Border programme manager to present the advantages of geographical information provided for running ‘border’ projects. 

The 16th ‘Africa’ forum organized by the IHEDN (Higher Institute of National Defence) will take place in Paris from May 28th to June 4th 2015.

The subject of this year’s forum is borders: 

‘Looking towards a better management of border areas to improve the safety and development of countries.’

IGN France International will take part in the forum, giving a presentation on ‘The issues and means involved in border demarcation’ along with the African Union Border programme manager during the 4th conference which will take place on May 29th from 10.45 am to 12.30 pm. 

IGN France International will highlight the advantages that geographical information can bring to each phase of border projects.

Governments wishing to approach the question of demarcating their borders can encounter various types of problems:

  • interpretation of texts
  • documentary research
  • the ‘absence’ of ‘border limits’ in the country
  • a lack of recent cartographic resources. 

In these situations, the detailed and reliable geographic information compatible with GPS surveys provides the members of National Border Commissions or Ministries in charge of following up and negotiating border lines an indispensible tool for their negotiations concerning border management. Once the border line has been delineated and agreed on by both parties, this information contributes to mapping the countries’ border-line territories and transposing them onto the land itself.

In the documentary phase, the search for texts or old maps can also be very useful to compare the situation in the field previous to the situation encountered at the time when investigations take place. It is important to highlight the fact that IGN still possesses a large number of original documents and aerial photos in the National Photo Library which come from old French possessions mainly in Africa and that can also contribute to the information collated.

Three focus areas will also be presented to underline the importance of these elements in implementing ‘border’ projects

  • the question of reference systems with the necessity to find a common reference system operated independently by each State ;
  • the question of the choice and quality of satellite images that represent an important set of input data for ‘border’ projects;
  • the question of complementary ‘field’ phases which mobilize a high level of resources and should not be overlooked.

IGN France International will illustrate its presentation by evoking the ‘border’ projects the entity has work on most recently, among which is the work to demarcate the land borders and delimit the offshore border lines between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.