17.03.2017 - Natural Sciences Sector

'Digital Maps and Active Citizenship' event at the University of Foreigners

Speakers at the Digital Maps and Active Citizen Participation Event

On March 15 2017, the event 'Digital Mapping & Active Citizenship - New Frontiers in Water Research' took place at the University of Foreigners in Perugia, Italy. The event was among others organized by the WARREDOC research center and supported by WWAP.

The event consisted of a seminar 'Water manifesto 2017', in the build-up to the World Water Day 2017 and an orientation seminar on 'GIS and Digital Mapping in the Era of Open Data: Work Opportunities'.

The central topic was on 'new frontiers in water research: environmental sustainability and scientific dissemination' as well as 'the involvement of citizens and the role of open data and open science for environmental sustainability, health and well-being.'

Prof. Fernando Nardi (WARREDOC) pointed out the broad and multidisciplinary participation of both national and international organizations to this event. It discussed the new frontiers of digital water research and developments in data access to better understand and develop the natural and cultural heritage, as well as the topic of actively involving citizens in scientific research and debates on environmental sustainability and improving communication within the water sector.

In fact, access to scientific data is invaluable, said Michela Miletto (WWAP Deputy Coordinator), and the topics of 'open data' and 'open science' are much discussed in recent years by the United Nations. She reported that already in 2014, an Independent Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development  was created by the UN Secretary-General to assess the availability of data at global level. The Group defined the data as “the lifeblood of decision-making… High quality information should be compared over time, between and within countries, year after year. This could be done with careful planning, using new technologies, and building public trust in data, and expanding people’s ability to use it”. The assessment confirmed the lack -and limited availability- of this data. “Exactly for this, the UN has launched multiple initiatives to increase the availability of open data to all citizens." Mrs. Miletto concluded that this is also of great importance for governments, as each decision and policy should base itself on high-quality and up-to-date information.

On 22 March at World Water Day, the University of Foreigners and Warredoc will participate to a number of local events, as well as undertake a social campaign '#watermanifesto2017 #wateropenday'.

Read more (article in Italian)

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