PONTOS Project Coordination Meeting Held in Georgia

Tbilisi, Georgia – On May 18-19, Copernicus Assisted Environmental Monitoring Across the Black Sea Basin – PONTOS consortium members participated in the third coordination meeting in Tbilisi.
The meeting kicked off with welcoming remarks from Irakli Matcharashvili of Green Alternative NGO, Georgian partner of PONTOS. 
Project Coordination Meeting Agenda was structured to cover all the activities and work packages implemented or to be implemented by the partnership. 
During the Session on Management Work Package, Aghavni Harutyunyan and Haykanush Martirosyan presented the status and upcoming plans under the project management and administration and financial management activities. 

Photo: Aghavni Harutyunyan, PONTOS Project Manager, AUA (left); Haykanush Martirosyan, PONTOS Project Assistant, AUA (right)

A presentation and short discussion were organized on Methodological Framework Development and Implementation in Pilot Sites. The session was conducted by CERTH researchers Maria Banti and Eleftherios Katsikis and DUTH researchers Nikolaos Kokkos. PONTOS Platform updates were presented on Open Data Cube (ODC), PONTOS training modules, Web App, and WebGIS. 

Photos (from top left to bottom): Maria Banti, Researcher, CERTH; Nikolaos Kokkos, Researcher, DUTH; CERTH, Eleftherios Katsikis, Researcher CERTH

In the following session, PONTOS team members shared their insights, plans, and activities dedicated to the Capacity Building Activities within the PONTOS project. Irakli Matcharashvili gave an overview of the work package’s achieved milestones and planned activities. Then, Nikolaos Kokkos of DUTH presented the second set of Training Sessions on Earth Observation and Environmental Monitoring plans. Tatevik Vardanyan from AUA presented the plan for virtual training modules and how to make the project’s knowledge sharing and knowledge management sustainable beyond the end of the project. Roza Sekhleyan from Armenia’s EPMIB talked about the Capacity Building for Public Administration, Civil Society Organizations, and Private sector actors, activities so far achieved, and next steps. 

Photos (from top left to bottom): Roza Sekhleyan, Project Manager, EPMIB, Irakli Macharashvili, Project Manager GRAL; Tatevik Vardanyan, Communications Manager, AUA

The final session of the coordination meeting was dedicated to the report on the dynamics of the coastal line changes. DUTH’s Konstantinos Zachopoulos facilitated the session, conducting presentations on Greek, Georgian, and Ukrainian pilot sites. Konstantinos Zachopoulos of DUTH presented essential updates on the data collection results, image processing results, shoreline evolution evaluation, and general assessment results. GRAL’s Nutsa Megvinetukhutsesi and Volodymyr Medinets delivered similar presentations on the Georgian Pilot Site and the Ukrainian Pilot Site.

Photos (from top left to the bottom): Volodymyr Medinets of ONU presenting online, Nutsa Megvinetukhutsesi, GRAL; Konstantinos Zachopoulos, DUTH

The second day of the coordination meeting was dedicated to the presentation and discussions on the five major assessments of the PONTOS project. The sessions covered the below assessments conducted by PONTOS project researchers from all partner countries. 

Assessment of forest cover changes and their consequences for the environment where PONTOS researchers Yeva Danielyan (AUA) and Mikayel Santrosyan from the Environmental Protection and Mining Inspection Body (EPMIB) presented the updates, data collection & image processing results, and general results of the assessment from the Armenian pilot site Lake Sevan. Then a presentation from the Georgian pilot site on the updates, data collection, image processing results, and general results of the assessment was followed by Giorgi Mikeladze (GRAL). 

Photo (from left to right): Yeva Danielyan, AUA; Mikayel Santrosyan, EPMIB, Giorgi Mikeladze (GRAL), PONTOS researchers

The session on the assessment of changes in wetland and floating vegetation cover included a presentation from Armenian, Georgian and Ukrainian pilot sites. The presentations were dedicated to the assessment updates, data collection and image processing, and general results. PONTOS’s Armen Ghlijyan (EPMIB), Artak Piloyan (AUA), Giorgi Mikeladze (GRAL), and Sergiy Medinets (ONU) made presentations on respective pilot site assessment status and challenges. Then a discussion was followed by all partners. 


Photos (from left to right): Armen Ghlijyan (EPMIB), Sergiy Medinets (ONU), Artak Piloyan (AUA)

The third set of presentations was dedicated to the chlorophyll concentration and eutrophication dynamics assessment and was conducted by PONTOS researchers Garabet Kazanjian (AUA), Artak Antonyan (EPMIB), Ketevan Kupatadze (GRAL), Volodymyr Medinets (ONU), and Maria Zoidou (DUTH). The researchers addressed all four pilot area-related assessment results, updates, data collection, and image processing results. Challenges and questions were discussed during the follow-up discussion session. 

Photos (from left to right): Garabet Kazanjian (AUA), Artak Antonyan (EPMIB), Ketevan Kupatadze (GRAL), Volodymyr Medinets (ONU), and Maria Zoidou (DUTH)

The last set of sessions, including the assessment results of Greek, Armenian and Ukrainian pilot areas, covered the Agricultural water balance, water productivity, and water stress indices. Sessions were conducted by PONTOS researchers Ioannis Tsakmakis (DUTH), Alexander Arakelyan (AUA), and Sergiy Medinets (ONU)

Photos (from left to right): Ioannis Tsakmakis (DUTH), Alexander Arakelyan (AUA)