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Coordinating and Integrating EO Activities in North Africa, Middle East, and Balkans. Accelerating the Development of Links with Geo/Geoss/Copernicus and Inspire initiatives

Haris Kontoes and GEO-CRADLE Team

(Submission #309)


The continuous provision of accurate and timely information through coordinated and sustained EO together with INSPIRE data, Copernicus, and GCI information, is a key enabler for informed decision making in response to challenges at regional/global level. The challenges tackled by the EU GEO-CRADLE project ( are adaptation to climate change and DRR, improved food security, water extremes, access to raw materials, and renewable energy resources. GEO-CRADLE coordinates actions of large international initiatives such as GEO, INSPIRE, and Copernicus, and promotes the integration of EO capacities and open geo-spatial data at regional, national and international levels in the Balkans, Middle East and the North Africa, the so called hereinafter as RoI. In RoI still exist critical gaps in the uptake of EO (in relation to SDGs and SBAs), and different obstacles in the collaboration of the EO stakeholders, manly relating to data availability, and capacity building aspects. The result is the ineffective exploitation of available resources, data, and expertise, the limited public awareness on the benefits of EO services and the low involvement of the industrial sector in most of the RoI’s countries. The GEO-CRADLE project achieved for the first time in the RoI such challenges, brought together key players from the 3 regions representing the entire EO value added chain, and established a multi-regional coordination network for developing open services to address common regional priorities. The project identified, and registered in open portals e.g. the GEO-CRADLE's Regional Data Hub and GEOSS GCI, new geo-spatial data covering the RoI, and used these data in combination with Copernicus Data and Core Services for service development. It integrated existing EO Capacities and facilitated the networking and engagement of the EO stakeholders, who have effectively participated as co-designers and co-creators of services. It also launched feasibility studies and showcased the implementation of innovative EO/GEO/Copernicus services that are used by key stakeholders and national authorities. The delivered web EO services cover a broad portfolio comprising the air quality, natural risks, desert dust services, climate change projection, building standardized Soil Spectral Library, soil spectroscopy, food security, extreme water events, exploitation of raw materials, and access to renewable energy resources. In this regard the developed Solar Energy Nowcasting and Forecasting System has been the most advanced pilot highlight that run in GEO-CRADLE. It is worth noting that several of the feasibility studies have been considered among others in the development of EuroGeoss initiative.


Topic Area:  [1.5] Public participation and active dissemination of information – citizen science and VGI
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional Fields

Academic:   No
Data Provider:   No
Data User:   Yes
INSPIRE Implementer (IT):   No
INSPIRE newbies:   No
Policy Officers:   Yes
Public Administration (MS/Regional/Local):   Yes
Thematic specialists:   Yes
Comments:   The study is a CSA with a multidisciplinary approach and as such is addressing several topics as : Sustainable management of natural resources and natural capital , Energy (renewable – non-renewable) , Agriculture - forestry - aquaculture, Mitigation and management of natural and man-made hazards and disasters, Mitigation and adaptation to climate change , Local – Regional cooperation, Cooperation on standardization

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