GEO Capacity Building in North Africa, Middle East, Balkans and Black Sea Region

GEO Capacity Building in North Africa, Middle East, Balkans and Black Sea Region

The Challenge

Despite the important progress made over the past years in the Balkans and in North Africa, and even more so in the Middle East, critical gaps still exist in the uptake of Earth observations data. There has been a disparate level of development and cooperation between various EO stakeholders, ineffective exploitation of available resources and expertise, limited public awareness of EO benefits and services and low involvement of the industrial sector.

The Solution

Our Impact

GEO Capacity Building in North Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Black Sea sustaining the key outputs of the relevant H2020 GEO-CRADLE project and scaling-up their reach in terms of geographic coverage (Black Sea), addition thematic areas (disaster management and water resources management) and operational maturity (in conjunction with the outcomes of the e-shape project - EuroGEO Showcases

Another key output of GEO-CRADLE that can contribute to the long-term uptake of EO activities in the region is the operation of the Regional Data Hub. By providing access to region-related datasets and services, directly fed from the GEOSS-portal, and at the same time being the centralised gateway for regional data providers to contribute easily and timely their products to GEOSS, the Regional Data Hub is designed to become the focal node in the region in the context of GEOSS and Copernicus implementation.

The Maturity Indicators was a novel proposal introduced by GEO-CRADLE as an independent, up-to-date and replicable methodology for the assessment and monitoring of EO maturity at national level, in order to capture the level and measure the progress of each country’s involvement in the implementation of GEO and Copernicus vision. This involvement ranges from strategic planning, leading initiatives and direct financial support to GEO activities (and Copernicus for EU Member States), to simple observation of the discussions made with no special follow up actions. A set of indicators was defined across three main fields: “Capacities”, “Cooperation” and “National Uptake and Awareness”.

How We Work

The scope of GEO-CRADLE is motivated by the need to sustain and scale up the results achieved during the implementation of the H2020 GEO-CRADLE project and follow-up activities up (e.g., e-shape, Early Warning System for Mosquito Borne Diseases - EYWA), and promoting relevant key outcomes of EU Flagship projects and Initiatives (e.g., EUROGEO, AFRIGEO, NextGEOSS, ERAPLANET, GEOGLAM, GEO-VENER).

GEO-CRADLE performs a thorough gap analysis that utilizes the outputs of the user need analysis, the information collected in the inventories of existing Earth observation capacities, and extends the work performed by previous relevant projects in order to: determine and document the gaps between the existing EO capacities, enable the identification and sharing of best practices and drive the development of an action plan against the priorities addressing regional challenges, and refining the scope of the pilot activities that focus on regional GEO, GEOSS, and Copernicus perspectives.

One of the largest aims of GEO-CRADLE is to tackle these challenges and promote the uptake and exploitation of Earth Observation activities in North Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans that address four key thematic areas (adaptation to climate change, improved food security & water extremes management, access to raw materials, and access to energy). The continuous provision of accurate and timely information through coordinated and sustained Earth observations (EO) activities is a key enabler for informed decision making in response to these challenges.

GEO-CRADLE project partners will continue operations towards intensifying stakeholder engagement and liaison activities through:

  1. Promoting the coordination of EO activities at regional level through the sustained operation of the GEO-CRADLE networking platform and the interfacing with key initiatives (including regional GEOSS’ like EuroGEOSS and AfriGEOSS);
  2. Assessing the maturity of EO activities at national level, towards informing targeted capacity building;
  3. Fostering the progressive operationalization of Earth observation-based services, building on the results of GEO-CRADLE pilots, linking to the GEO priorities and the national needs for achievement of SDGs and involving the private sector;
  4. Further promoting the effective implementation of GEOSS Data Sharing Principles in the region and the registration of national datasets to GEOSS Platform.


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