Inclusion of all Balkan countries into GEO and their contribution to GEOSS is of great importance, since only a comprehensive EO framework can lead to better understanding and more intelligent utilization of the environmental resources, increased quality of life and faster economic development. The importance and benefits from participation in global EO initiatives have already been recognized by several Balkan countries. However, a great number of Balkan countries are still not members of GEO.
This project aims to identify existing EO-data providers and users in the wider Balkan region, to determine their status, potentials and needs, and to coordinate EO players by establishing proper interfaces and networking between them. A broad analysis of gaps and complementarities of EO activities within the region will be performed, with the emphasis on user needs in the specific context of the Balkan region.
The consortium has been carefully constituted to include key players both from EO-data provider and EO-data user communities, from all Balkan countries. Participants from other EU countries are also included to allow straightforward identification of mechanisms for leveraging, developing and coordinating EO capacity building initiatives in the region, and to ensure that the Project outcomes will be in line with the currently designed Shared Environmental Information System and with Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe.
Main outcomes of the Project will be the creation of a permanent web-based networking facility, and the design of roadmaps and recommendations for an active, coordinated and sustained participation of all Balkan countries in global EO initiatives. These outcomes will also present a contribution to GEO task CB-09-03 „Building Institutional Capacity to Use EO” and specifically to subtask CB-09-03b „Establishing Regional Capacity Building Networks“.