HomeLatest NewsNews115 - 16 October 2012 . Thessaloniki , Greece. Earth Observation Activities in the Balkans: Building on Experiences

15 - 16 October 2012 . Thessaloniki , Greece. Earth Observation Activities in the Balkans: Building on Experiences

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Within the OBSERVE project, The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) had been assigned to organize the Final Event and prepare all materials regarding to it. The main aim of the Final Event was the dissemination of the project’s results in a wide audience, including the students, policy makers, stakeholders and the general public. In that sense, the final Event Earth Observation Activities in the Balkans Building on Experience aimed to:

1. Capitalize on the outcomes of the OBSERVE project, through:

  • Presentation of the “Spatial Information System and the Stakeholder database”
  • Presentation of an in depth “Multilevel assessment and gap analysis” regarding the EO activities in the Balkans
  • Presentation of the “Roadmap and Strategy plan for strengthening EO capacity”

2. Raise awareness in the Balkans, through:

  • Demonstration of EO solutions on the different Societal Benefit Areas
  • Dissemination of Challenges and Best practice examples in the Balkan countries

3. Scale up in challenging times, through:

  • Sharing experiences with other related EU sponsored capacity building projects
  • Attraction of key public institutions and authorities
  • Favouring the involvement of local decision makers

4. Serve as a network vehicle for dissemination and capacity development mechanisms.

During the Event OBSERVE’s most crucial deliverables along with presentations of European stakeholders regarding the demonstration of EO solutions on the different Societal Benefit Areas, EO standards, and Environmental Economical and quality of life issues were addressed. Furthermore a session dedicated to presentations of relevant projects helped the audience to have an insight of EU sponsored capacity building projects. In addition a session was dedicated in measures that could be taken in order to raise awareness in the Balkans regarding EO applications. Finally OBSERVE consortium partners presented some of the major challenges, best practices and cases studies in their countries. As a result OBSERVE final event managed to fulfil its aims and objectives

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Participants & Material


Earth Observation Activities in the Balkans Building on Experiences Final Event took place on 15-16.10.2012 as it was planned. Online registration continued until the actual event and advertisement of the event continued also. Finally 123 of the registered participants attended the sessions of the workshop. During the symposium a booklet containing the executive summary regarding the Roadmap Strategy plan for strengthening EO capacity in the Balkans for environmental monitoring was distributed in the participants . Furthermore all the material produced during the project’s lifetime was compiled and distributed in a USB flash Drive.

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All material is available for download from the OBSERVE websites: www.observe-fp7.eu & (http://pers.topo.auth.gr/finalevent/stream/stream.html), and recorded by AUTH’s Network Operation Centre. Consents of speakers regarding to recordings were taken in advance.

Results of the Final OBSERVE Symposium

Competition Winners


OBSERVE Project organised a competition which aimed at the intensified use of Earth observation data in the Balkans. Participants from the Balkans and beyond were invited to analyse given air quality data sets and to report their findings to the organisers of the competition. The analysis results described typical phenomena that are contained in the data such as pollution levels, their spatial relationships, temporal evolutions, etc. The prize winners were invited to present their results during the Final event organised by the OBSERVE project. Additional travel funding were offered to the prize winners by the OBSERVE project.
During the Final Event an award was presented to Competition Winners by (Athina Trakas, Vassillis Tritakis, and Gottfried Schwarz). Furthermore the competition winners had the opportunity to present their work during the symposium.

Ms Irena Rojko From the University of Ljubljana receiving the first prize from Athina Trakas of OGC