Newsletter 4 March 2013 Black Sea day celebration and enviroGRIDS final conference, October 31. 2012 in Batumi Introduction (Coordinator: Anthony Lehmann) the lack of strong policy implementation. Now I can say that I never thought we would get to However, where I learned the most was from the end of this project. We had so much to do, the the human side of the project. I have seen tasks were so challenging, and four years seemed to dedicated scientists from all the Black Sea be so long when writing the proposal. BUT WE DID IT countries and beyond giving their best to build …almost as planned, and in a very collaborative and together the Black Sea catchment Observation constructive atmosphere!!! I learned so much from System. Regardless of nationality, age, gender this project, and clearly I built my own capacities! and religion, all the enviroGRIDS partners were Of course, from a scientific perspective, we addressed fully committed to the project’s common several important challenges such as improving objectives, as if we had all found along the environmental data sharing and processing in order shores of the Black Sea the warm arms of a to build the first hydrological model for the entire caring mother. Black Sea catchment, and to explore several scenarios of land cover, demographic and climatic changes. Similar scientific and environmental challenges exist everywhere around the World, but they are particularly useful in this part of the World because of the important environmental crisis that the Black Sea catchment is facing coupled with Batumi’s coast of Georgia, Nov.1. 2012
Unfortunately, what is true in the enviroGRIDS making its inhabitants proud and caring about consortium is not a feeling that is sufficiently shared their heritage. Unfortunately, economical among the people living in the region. This is why the constraints, religious differences and work of the Black Sea Commission (BSC) as well as the nationalistic behaviours are dominating the International Commission for the Protection of the regional development, where a more Danube River (ICPDR) is so important. This is also why sustainable and collaborative pathway is clearly these commissions should be given much more needed. financial, technical, scientific and political means, This is why in the framework of this capacity because they participate in the preparation of a building project, much hope came from the sustainable future for this region. When we think skills and great achievements of several young about the history of the Black Sea that has seen scientists. We decided therefore to dedicate to among others, the Greeks, the Romans, the them this last Newsletter with a selection of Venetians, the Ottomans and the Hunts occupying portraits to thank them for their appreciated this region, one would hope that the cultural heritage efforts. We wish that they will be a source of from all these great civilisations would highlight the inspiration for future generations. beauty and importance of this part of the world,
Key achievements in 2012-‐2013 (Manager: documentary in their FUTURIS collection in July Nicolas Ray) 2012 (available on enviroGRIDS website front page). Needless to say it was extremely useful The last quarter of any project is always a thrilling for disseminating a high-‐quality summary of mome It is the time whe the ke proje nt. re y ct the project in several languages. achievements need to be finalized, integrated, and efficiently disseminated. One of the key project Towards the end of the project we also outputs, namely the calibrated high-‐resolution strengthened our implication in both ICPDR hydrological model of the Black Sea catchment, was (Danube Commission) and the Black Sea finalized towards the very end of the project. We had Commission. ICPDR has officially adopted the to face many complex data integration issues and strategy of an open-‐source SDI based on the new software development was required to handle recommendation of the enviroGRIDS project. the largest SWAT hydrological model ever developed. As much as we have achieved, challenges still Great collaboration among partners made it possible remain. An administrative one is first expected, eventually, and this SWAT model will be the basis of as we are ge aring up for writing the Final many applications beyond the project life span. Report to be submitted to the Commission. GEO/GEOSS activities continued to be strengthened Then, some of the results, methodologies, during that period, with our participation in the GEO tools, concepts, and analyses from the project Plenary in Foz do Iguaçu (Brazil) in November 2012. will be published through three special issues Capacity building on GEOSS and OGC related material of peer-‐reviewed international journals. Finally, was done in Georgia during the Final meeting of the the momentum of the collaboration among project (Oct. 30 – Nov. 2, 2012). Numerous services several partners needs to be maintained, and it (25+), data sets (250+) and layers (300000+) have will be through forthcoming joint projects. been registered in the GEOSS by enviroGRIDS As the project comes to its completion, a deep partners. feeling surfaces: that of being immensely lucky The enviroGRIDS portal to have had the privilege of (http://portal.envirogrids.net) managing enviroGRIDS. The has gone through its final lifting, many colleagues – now friends and access to the key tools – I had to interact with, the (Geoportal, Greenland, gSWAT, challenges and the solutions, eGLE, BASHYT) developed in the the achievements, the project is now possible through a difficulties. I learnt a lot, and useful single sign-‐on. had my share of capacity building, for the future! The dissemination "dream item" came from the TV channel EuroNews. They covered the project through an extensive 8’
UNIGE (Violeta Djambazova) inseparable facet of the pure ‘technical’ I engaged in enviroGRIDS aspects of research in a research project of this for my first research magnitude. project as a Master My interest was caught in particular by the student at the University question of the role of science in policy making. of Geneva. It was a very It is the most relevant one to the goal of rich opportunity in terms implementing policy targets in sustainable of partners involved as development through funding of research, such well as objectives and as expressed by the European Community in corresponding research topics. I was enthusiastic to contributing to enviroGRIDS. In the participate in such an effort supported by the continuation of the project, it is currently the European Community and curious to explore topic of my doctoral thesis in environmental international collaboration. Being Bulgarian, I was sciences. also eager to contribute to the undertaking of Bulgaria as a partner country towards sustainable UNEP/GRID (Grégory Giuliani) energy use. EnviroGRIDS is so far Thus my work was directed to the evaluation of the the greatest moment electricity production potential from wind of my scientific installations in Bulgaria. I was in contact with local career. This was a partners, both the wind data holders and energy unique opportunity experts. We exchanged by writing and met on one for a young scientist occasion. But distance with research partners is not to be part of such an easily managed, not only for itself but because it can important and reflect differences in viewpoint, research method, ambitious project. stakes in the project, understanding of research goals, data sharing policy, fears and expectations. All From a scientific point of view, I had the chance of which factors I did not suspect the influence. to lead the workpackage on Spatial Data Infrastructure and to do my PhD under the Therefore difficulties in collaboration relations in this supervision of Prof. Anthony Lehmann (UNIGE-‐context range from plain misunderstandings to Switzerland) and Prof. Stefano Nativi (CNR-‐manifestations of politics associated with scientific Italy). I learned also a lot in contact with so research, in addition to the politics of the subject many good scientists belonging to this matter, here renewable energy use. The latter two consortium. are not simple to dissociate and I experienced this as a complex canvas, against which to interpret In a general scientific context, sharing and interactions, and work towards completing my study. documenting data is part of the elementary Considerations relating to political science are an scientific approach, allowing scientists to compare their results and methods more
easily, and then enhancing scientific accountability, UMA (Emanuele Mancosu) credibility and potentially improving quality of data for the benefit of everyone. I entered the enviroGRIDS This project also gave me the possibility to participate project at the end of 2010 in numerous events and conferences around Europe supporting the tasks of and outside. This allowed me to discover the state-‐of-‐ work package 3, at the the-‐art of spatial data infrastructure and this was beginning with the really exciting. Autonomous University of Probably the most important lesson I have learnt in Barcelona and later with enviroGRIDS is that, besides all the good scientific and the University of Malaga. technical results, an important aspect of participating I gained more and more in a large European research project is the spirit of responsibility up to collaboration. Having the chance to work with various coordinating the WP3s activities during the scientists coming from different countries with last year of the project. WP3 aims at building different cultures was stimulating. All these moments future scenarios of land use, climate and of exchange, sharing, discussions have enriched and demography for the Black Sea catchment, as a broadened my scientific and human horizons. basis for assessing water resources. One of the objectives of enviroGRIDS was to build the Thanks to this project, I have been able to capacities of scientists to share data in the Black Sea expand my knowledge in the field of land use region. Enabling data sharing relies mostly on dynamics, also to the competence of the individuals that should have in common: (1) a sense European Topic Centre (ETCLUSI, then ETCSIA) that better data will lead to better decisions, (2) a where I am working. Several methodologies sharing spirit that they got something in return and previously explored in a European framework are viewed as collaborative partners, and (3) the fact were extended to the Black Sea basin level, that they are involved in a professional culture that bordering the crossroad of Eastern Europe and honours serving society and cooperating with others. Western Asia. For me this was a ke value re se , y pre ntative of Such a deep research implied interpretative enviroGRIDS partners. exchanges with partners and local institutions At the end of this project, I would like to thank all the to find out regional data, being aware of enviroGRIDS members for their time, patience, trust, physical geographic conditions and policy friendship, and for all the great moments we had status of the territory to overcome lack of along the entire project. I really hope that we will resources and fulfil the research background. have the chance to continue our collaborations in the Among the assimilated technical work, mostly future.… characterized by evaluating and improving GIS procedures, the analysis and application of a modelling framework was the most interesting
part. This necessity brought the team and me to impossible and with cooperation and master powerful modelling software able to draw collaboration everything could be achieved. plausible future scenarios on land use, through the This work was a great opportunity for me to interpretation of historical data and by employing tackle existing gaps in water resources ancillary data as driving forces. The whole process management in the region, and to contribute was supported by evaluation of experts. Since the to a high standard scientific community as well project had ambitious objectives, work package 3 was as stakeholders. Now that I am looking back, I also a big challenge: operating within a wide study see all the ups and downs, and I realize how area, selecting useful data from different providers much I have learned. I am very grateful for and countries, processing a huge quantity of data, being part of the professional team in the and finally producing convincing results. enviroGRIDS project, and am humbled by the EnviroGRIDS has made collaboration possible with challenging task in front of us. EnviroGRIDS not experts from different countries and contexts, only brought me a valuable scientific starting from the smaller circle of colleagues from the experience in water research study, hydrology, centre, passing through the WP’s partners and up to modelling, climate change and land use change the larger net of experts and institutions involved. impact analysis, but also it was a great source Creating stronger relationships has facilitated the of ideas and experiences on how to work as a expansion of scientific knowledge reaching great team. The project deepened my insight of the results. Moreover, it was fundamental to have the spirit of shared environment -‐shared chance to learn from the Black Sea area, not only in a experiences-‐ and shared data. I realized that theoretic way but also in a more active way, meeting environment does not know political the people and visiting the places involved, making boundaries, and environmental problems do this experience more real. not stop at the borders! The objective of the project was to explore the past, present and future of the Black Sea Basin EAWAG (Elham Rouholahnejad) and I am very happy to have contributed in the I started my PhD study at the hydrological part. The important questions ETH Zurich, Environmental were: Science Department in September 2009. My project -‐ Are the existing databases sufficient for was to study the water modelling the BSB? Could we build a high-‐ resources availability and resolution hydrological-‐crop model of the quality in the Black Sea Basin region? Could we calibrate and validate such a within the framework of the model? Could we estimate how much enviroGRIDS project. My task was a rather ambitious freshwater there is and what is the status of one and seemed unapproachable to me at the water quality? How much confidence would we beginning, but I quickly learned that nothing was have of our estimates? Could such a large model be run on our existing computer
resources? What would the future hold for the region most important milestone experiences in my in light of climate and land use changes? professional life for several reasons. Tremendous advances in modelling and model EnviroGRIDS gave me the opportunity to work calibration have allowed us to perform the tasks in a scientific network with a large number of mentioned above. We used Soil and Water qualified scientists. We all shared our Assessment Tool (SWAT) to build the hydrological experiences and knowledge on our fields water quantity-‐quality model coupled with crop yield. during meetings and conferences for four We used SWAT-‐CUP to calibrate and validate the years, so it was a great pleasure for me to be model with uncertainty analysis. involved in such a comprehensive project. EnviroGRIDS project aimed to build capacity for Using the above methodologies, we we able to re a Black Sea Catchment Observation and study the past 37 years of the Black Sea Basin Assessment System supporting Sustainable hydrological statues, assess historical changes, Development. This goal does not only include support environmental monitoring and seasonal the technical aspects such as data and forecasting of trends, and we evaluated the impact of methodology but also covers training of young natural and manmade pressures on water resources scientist to be able to ensure the permanency by prediction of future changes. We hope that this and sustainability of the scientific works at leads to analysis of alternative management plans Black Sea Catchment in the future. All of the and establishes optimal strategies by decision makers young researchers who started their PhD for reaching the desired water quantity and quality research within the enviroGRIDS project are standards in the Black Sea Basin. now young and experienced scientists ready to work for the progress of the Black Sea Catchment. This result is going to sustain the ITU (Özgür Doğru) spirit of the enviroGRIDS project when it is I have been involved in completed. enviroGRIDS project as a I was involved in WP2 and WP5 as a researcher member of ITU Partner since during the enviroGRIDS project and I was also the beginning, the year 2009, assisting the Leader of Work Package 5, Prof. when I was a visiting researcher Dr. Seval SÖZEN. Therefore, in addition to for my PhD research at the technical self-‐improvement on GIS and open-‐ National Geographic Institute, source data publishing issues, enviroGRIDS in France. Although project acquainted me with management enviroGRIDS was not the first processes. At the end of the project, I would EU project that I was involved in, it is the biggest one like to thank all enviroGRIDS members who with lots of researchers from 30 partners distributed have contributed to the project. I hope that our in 15 countries from all over the Black Sea Catchment professional relations will continue in the and Europe. Therefore, enviroGRIDS is one of my future.
ITU (Filiz Bektaş Balçık) UTCN (Denisa Rodila) I have participated in In this project, I have enviroGRIDS since 2009 as a found a collaborative member of Istanbul Technical environment which University team. This project offered me the allowed me to work with 30 chance to be part of a different partners from 15 great scientific different countries. I believe research team and to that it was a unique meet experts in opportunity to improve not different research only my scientific vision but fields. Being part of this community helped me also my social and cultural point of view. grow and enhance my knowledge especially in Within this project, I had a great chance to work as Environmental Sciences but also in Computer part of a scientific network in a collaborative Sciences considering the project challenges and environment. During the project, I have gained collaborations. valuable knowledge from other disciplines. I also had I have developed tight professional a chance to improve my skills to work together with relationships with all the partners that I have scientists from different disciplines and different collaborated with, based on competent countries in a comprehensive project. We had the professional skills and good communication. opportunity to share our experiences and knowledge During the project meetings and reunions I had related to our topics via conferences, workshops and a great intercultural experience, which allowed meetings carried out at different times and in many me to get in contact with a lot of different countries. It was a great pleasure for me to be part of people and their culture, and to share this multi-‐cultural collaborative environment and information and knowledge. share our experiences. Although enviroGRIDS was not the first In this project, I took part in two different working international project I was involved in, I have groups (WP2 and WP5). Especially close collaboration gained a lot of experience in working with between ITU and UTCN guided me to improve my teams having different backgrounds and aspect in Remote Sensing Technology and Computer different expertise. I was sometimes intrigued Sciences. During this project, the most important and surprised to find out how experts in other achievement for me was learning how to find an research fields perceive the insight of efficient way to work with scientists who are expert Computer Sciences and what the general idea in different disciplines. I strongly believed that this is about the computing environments behind project allowed me to get a chance to work with the every system. I have shared a lot of knowledge best professionals in their own areas, a chance that is and I have improved my know-‐how in related rarely given for a young scientist like me.
research fields, which helped me broaden my Other tasks in WP7 included the compilation of horizons even more. policy briefs and newsletters, writing reports of I have gained experience working and collaborating in workshops, gathering open access publications the interdisciplinary domains of Environment and etc. They were successfully fulfilled thanks to Computer Sciences and these gained scientific the good response and support of all the capacities and experiences have been capitalized in enviroGRIDS partners. different high-‐level national and international Furthermore, Antea Group also had a mayor journals and conference papers. role in Work Package 5, dealing with Early Overall, I had a great pleasure being part of such a Warning Systems in the Black Sea Region based large consortium and getting to know such wonderful on pilot case studies. I have been focusing on people, starting from the management team and the social impacts of floods (Körös case study, continuing with all the partners I interacted with. Hungary). A GIS tool was built to assess the From my point of view, enviroGRIDS was a successful social impact of floods. It has been a real project not only for fulfilling the proposed objectives challenge and opportunity to work in a data but also for creating strong professional relationships poor environment. among the involved partners. This enviroGRIDS project has been a great scientific and intercultural experience to me and I have been able to get in contact with a ANTEA GROUP (Annelies Beel) many different people. Furthermore, I would My company, a private engineering also like to thank all the colleagues at Antea consultancy, was responsible for Group that cooperated in this project. Work Package 7 on ‘Dissemination and training’. I started cooperating in enviroGRIDS by organizing a small Project after-‐life plan (Anthony Lehmann) project meeting in Ghent (Belgium) A lot of efforts have been put in this project to in October 2010. Compared with the help and serve the two main identified end meeting in Batumi 2 years later, this users, namely the BSC and the ICPDR. The was a minor challenge. challenge for after the end of the project is to Now, after having organized the end conference in insure that these commissions will be able to Batumi (November 2012, Georgia) for more than 200 use the products of the project, and that the people, I have learned a lot. partners will keep trying to develop new Thanks to the excellent cooperation with enviroGRIDS activities and projects in relationship to what partners such as Anthony Lehmann and Nicolas Ray was achieved in the enviroGRIDS project. (Coordinators, University of Geneva) and Mamuka In order to favour this process, we proposed to Gvilava (Geographic, Georgia) and the Tourism sign agreements with the BSC, the ICPDR and Agency of Batumi, this conference was a real success. between the enviroGRIDS partners in charge of the Black Sea Catchment – Observation
System. The aim of these agreements is to maintain D5.11 Report on the Biodiversity societal benefit the interest and capacities of the two commissions to area use the outputs of enviroGRIDS on one side, and also D6.11 Functional prototypes available on the web to keep the system up and running on the other side. of BSC-‐OS for citizens For the Black Sea Commission, the possibility of D7.17 Fourth newsletter and policy briefing setting nutrient loads targets for each catchment D7.18 Report on End-‐conference entering the Black Sea is an interesting mean to drive a new policy to reduce the eutrophication in the Black Selected 2012 Publications Sea. Gorgan, D., Bacu, V., Mihon, D., Stefanut, T., Rodila, For the ICPDR, a great opportunity exists to extend its D., Cau, P., Abbaspour, K., Giuliani, G., Ray, N. great experience on River basin management in the and A. Lehmann. 2012. Software platform East. interoperability throughout enviroGRIDS portal. Journal of Selected Topics in Applied For the enviroGRIDS project, the aim is to keep all the Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 5(6): data and the models produced by the project freely 1617-‐1627 available, especially the scenarios and the Rouholahnejad, E., Abbaspour, K.C., Vejdani, M., hydrological model outputs. Srinivasan, R., Schulin, R. & Lehmann, A. 2012, From the University of Geneva coordination, the A parallelization framework for calibration of participation in two new FP7 networking projects hydrological models. Environmental Modelling (IASON & EOPOWER) will allow to pursue the & Software31: 28-‐36 development of useful technical solutions. Medinets S., & Medinets V. 2012. Investigations of Thanks to our Georgian partner, it is now clearly Atmospheric Wet and Dry Nutrient Deposition established that this country will be the next one to Marine Surface in Western Part of the Black Sea.Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic becoming an official GEO member. Sciences 12: 497-‐505 Finally, the University of Geneva and UNEP/GRID will actively participate in the organisation of the next GEO Plenary and Ministerial in Geneva in January Acknowledgements 2014. The European Commission, project under call FP7-‐ENV-‐2008-‐1, grant agreement No. 226740. Public Deliverables (months 37-‐48) (soon available at www.envirogrids.net) D4.11 Calibrated water quantity and quality model for BSC, with impacts of scenarios D5.8 Synthesis of vulnerability and adaptation issues D5.10 Illustrated pilot case studies for the Black Sea Catchment Disaster Early Warning System
Final enviroGRIDS event at the GEO headquarter in Geneva