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Copernicus assisted environmental monitoring across the Black Sea Basin – PONTOS

Project Description

PONTOS aims to enhance transboundary cooperation for large-scale, harmonized environmental monitoring across the countries of the Black Sea region and beyond. The vehicle towards this objective is the exploitation of numerous freely available and incrementally credible Copernicus data and services (e.g. Copernicus Land and Marine Environment Monitoring Services).

Intelligent fusion of data and information shall lead to novel services and products for actors operating along the coastal zone. Latter shall become, through PONTOS operational platform and mounted online services, freely available to and accessible by a multitude of local, national, and regional stakeholders. Transboundary spaceborne derived primary (e.g. images) and secondary (e.g. maps) products will be coupled with existing data and knowledge of in situ conditions. Tailored to the regional challenges, solutions will be generated by utilizing this information thesaurus and retrieving methods and results (e.g. online modules and models) from EU and national past and ongoing research and development projects. Citizens’ current and future well-being will be the focus. As such, marine and lake coastal and inland human activities will be mapped targeting industry, recreation, agriculture, aquaculture, and commerce in Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, and pilot-wise in Greece. Their effluents towards the Black Sea or the lakes around it will be calculated, while at the same time spaceborne and in situ data will monitor fluctuations in marine features’ values, such as surface water temperature, salinity, nutrients, potentially toxic elements, and algae presence.

The impact will be assessed in relation to set benchmark conditions. Local stakeholders and actors will be informed and equipped with an adequate interface to access the information and its regular updates. Co-development and co-creation actions will respect national and local needs, constraints, and vision. Together with capacity building activities PONTOS aims to offer the means to exploit in tandem existing local monitoring networks and Copernicus products and services, to align its online services with a compatible manner to existing hard- and software infrastructures, and to leverage cooperation and exchange of ideas and best practices across the region.
Specific Objective
Technology transfer among the Black Sea Nations.
The exploitation of the Copernicus program in tandem with locally established infrastructure and networks for environmental monitoring.
Engagement of local and regional actors at multiple levels as co-designers and receptors of the benefits accrued by PONTOS.
Expected Results
1. Integration of online services’ tools based on Information Technology applications that leverage remotely sensed and Copernicus environmental data in tandem with in situ retrieved ones in an integrated and synergistic way to account for an efficient environmental monitoring for the Black Sea and its surrounding environment.
2. Improved availability and timeliness of cross-border compatible environmental monitoring data and information for the BSB.
3. Capacity building and homogenization across the Black Sea to comprehend and utilize provided online services through tailor-made training material and actions targeting on one side the young generation of actors and on the other side the established employees of the public and private sectors.
4. Establishment of a transnational and transdisciplinary cooperation team to act as the core of flexible local clusters involving stakeholder groups promoting data sharing via PONTOS proposed methodology and tools.
5. Raise awareness of the importance of water quality degradation for local and national sustainable development.
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Priority Area:
Partnership that greens
Environment & climate change
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