07.05.2013 - UNESCO Venice Office

Increasing Resilience through Earth Observation for the Shkodra area

©M.Morell - Skadar

The technical workshop to take place on 14 May 2013 at the Ministry of Interior – Department of Civil protection in Tirana is jointly organized by the UNESCO Venice Office, the General Directorate for Civil Emergencies of Albania, the Albanian National Commission for UNESCO, in partnership with the Geoville Group (Austria) and the support of CIMA Foundation in Albania. It is part of the planned activities of the EU-funded project IncREO-Increasing Resilience through Earth Observation (FP7-SPACE-2012-1).

IncREO has been devised in support of emergency response management and risk-preparedness. It aims to provide actors responsible for disaster management, risk prevention, civil protection and also spatial planning with EO-based solutions, contributing particularly to an improved preparedness and mitigation planning for areas highly vulnerable to natural disasters.

The workshop will involve project partners and end-users in order to assess and jointly develop an EO geo-information product for risk prevention and preparedness through EO imagery elaboration in the region of Shkodra. The workshop is an important step to the development of maps to be technically specified and made available to the government of Albania, whose departments and ministries are asked to share their requirements and data with UNESCO and with the product developers partners, to test the developed products and to employ them in order to achieve higher societal benefits in the flood disaster risk prevention and reduction area.

The objectives are to raise general awareness among professionals and responsible agencies in Albania for the need to jointly work to develop and employ appropriate EO solutions for disaster risk reduction and preparedness; to assess the users requirement specifications necessary to drive the development of EO products and applications in due compliance; and, to set up an effective and coordinative approach for data information collection and sharing process among project stakeholders in Albania. This is to lay the ground for the development of a well-tailored EO based product, capable to match its multi-scale definition and the multipurpose applications required by the end users and by the nature of the testing site.

The workshop intends to bring main stakeholders, institutions and scientists, operating and involved in the field of DRR and preparedness in the area of Shkodra Lake around a common table (Institute of Geosciences, Energy, Water and Environment (IGEWE);Centre of Agricultural Technology Transfer; Military Geographical Institute of Albania (MGI); Agency for Legalization, Urbanization and Integration of Informal Construction Areas; Agency for Legalization, Urbanization and Integration of Informal Construction Areas Prefecture of Shkodra; Institute of Transport;  Albanian Development Fund; National Agency of Natural Resources; Prefecture of Shkodra; Regional Council of Shkodra; INSTAT; Albanian Power Corporation; National Committee on High Dams; Civil Office; National Territorial Planning Agency; Albanian Geological Service; General Directorate of Water Administration).

This is to present and share the core elements of IncREO project and foremost to acquire in a coordinative fashion, data and information necessary to better orient and shape the EO based product development to be applied to the testing site. This will mainly be done by an open discussion chaired by project partners on 2 main documents previously shared with stakeholders: the user requirements specifications questionnaire as well as the data search list in relation to flood-hazard in the Shkodra region.

With the knowledge derived from these two tools of investigation, and the good will of stakeholders to share their knowledge, data and experience, UNESCO and IncREO project partners will be able to develop applications which are inclusive of user needs and requirements combining the best state of art of EO imagery technology with the usefulness of their application.

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