Ukrainian Brainstorming Event of the PONTOS Project

The Ukrainian Brainstorming Event (workshop for potential stakeholders) was held online on July 6, 2021. The list of invitees comprised representatives of a broad range of organisations and institutions taking part in studying and management of the Ukrainian pilot area – coastline with beaches and recreational areas from Odessa city to the Danube River Delta, Dniester Delta area, and the Dniester Estuary. The representatives of national, regional and local authorities, sectoral agencies, small and medium enterprises, business support organizations, NGOs, higher education and research institutions and international organizations were invited, more than 60 people registered for the online meeting and 48 attended.

The aim of the Brainstorming Event was not only to inform the stakeholders about the PONTOS Project, highlight the project progress on addressing topical environmental issues for the region, but also to present a prototype of the PONTOS Platform and its instruments.\In their welcoming words, Prof. Volodymyr Ivanytsa, Vice Rector Odessa National I.I. Mechnikov University (ONU), Ms. Aghavni Harutyunyan, Project Manager, American University of Armenia, Ms.Tetiana Tytarchuk, chief expert, Directorate of international technical aid coordination at the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, and Mr. Yuriy Yineshyn, Deputy Head of Strategic planning and monitoring sector, Department of ecology and natural resources, Odessa Regional State Administration, greeted the participants, underlined the importance of the Cross Border Cooperation Black Sea Basin Programme in general and the PONTOS Project in particular, as the global issues our countries are facing require tight cross-border cooperation and knowledge sharing. All speakers wished attendees the fruitful work in the event and expressed interest in the current and coming project outputs.

The following presentations were made by the PONTOS performers:

  • Sergiy Medinets (project coordinator from Regional Centre for Integration Environmental Monitoring (RCIEM), ONU, General information about the PONTOS Project and the activities planned in Ukrainian pilot area;
  • Yevhen Gazyetov (RCIEM ONU), Modern Earth Observation (EO) technologies and Copernicus products;
  • Maria Banti and Eleftherios Katsikis (Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH), Greece), Introduction to PONTOS platform and application tools – with life demo of how the web-application works.
  • Yevhen Cherkez (RCIEM ONU), Assessment of coastline dynamics;
  • Sergiy Medinets (RCIEM ONU), Assessment of wetlands and floating vegetation areas;
  • Volodymyr Medinets (RCIEM ONU), Integrated assessment of eutrophication dynamics and chlorophyll concentration;
  • Sergiy Medinets (RCIEM ONU), Assessment of agricultural water balance.

During the discussion that followed, the importance of the PONTOS project, capacity building and use of space data were stressed by Dr. Volodymyr Medinets, Head of the RCIEM ONU, Sofia Zherebchuk, representative of Ukrainian national hub of EU Black sea assistant mechanism within EC CMA for the Black Sea, Iryna Makarenko, Pollution Monitoring and Assessment Officer, Black Sea Commission, Dr. Oleksandr Gordienko, assistant of Odessa Regional Administration Head and Dr. Mykola Stepanok, deputy head of Research Department in the Lower Dniester National Nature Park.

Specially for the event PONTOS project has developed the Questionnaire for the potential stakeholders in order to find out how much informed they are about Earth Observation (EO) and experienced in using it, understand their needs for potential use of EO in their everyday work (data retrieval and decision making), as well as collect first feedback from potential end-users about the presented PONTOS platform. This will allow the PONTOS performers figure out the stakeholders’ needs and analyze the knowledge gap.

The presentations of the brainstorming event are available here.

The press release in Ukrainian can be found here.

Copernicus assisted environmental monitoring across the Black Sea Basin-PONTOS is a 30-month project funded by the European Union’s ENI CBC Black Sea Basin Programme 2014-2020. The PONTOS will make information about the Black Sea environment from the EU Copernicus Earth Observation platform accessible to scientists, policymakers, citizens, and other relevant stakeholders. It will utilize information technologies to automatically retrieve Copernicus products, couple them with national or regional infrastructures for data acquisition and processing, and provide monitoring services for the Black Sea and the surrounding environment in a transboundary, standardized, and homogenized manner. The environmental monitoring system to be developed will be tested in pilot sites across Armenia, Greece, Georgia, and Ukraine.