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User Validation Workshop on Increasing Resilience through Earth Observation for the Shkodër area



As part of the planned activities of the EU project IncREO, this technical workshop will be held on 25 February 2014, at the General Directorate of Civil Emergency within the Ministry of Interior in Tirana, Albania. The event is jointly organized by the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), the General Directorate of Civil Emergency of Albania and the Albanian National Commission for UNESCO.

IncREO - Increasing Resilience through Earth Observation (FP7-SPACE-2012-1) 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 Earth Observation (EO)-based solutions, to contribute to an improved preparedness and mitigation planning for areas highly vulnerable to natural disasters.

The technical workshop in Tirana will involve the project partner GeoVille and end-users in order to assess and validate the early developed products, flood exposure maps related to the region of Shkodra, derived from a merging process capable of elaborating EO imagery and in situ data. The workshop is an important step to advance with the refinement of digital multilayered flood exposure maps to be made available to the government of Albania - whose departments and ministries have already shared their data and early requirements with UNESCO.

The region of Shkodra has critically, and more frequently, been hit by floods and it has suffered damages both at material and human levels, triggered by a powerful combination of natural and human-induced factors related to the social environmental change taking place and impacting the area (climate, hydrogeological systems and management, etc.).

The objectives of this workshop are to raise general awareness among professionals and responsible agencies in Albania of the need to work jointly to develop and employ appropriate EO solutions for Disaster Risk Reduction and Preparedness; and, to assess and validate through users the elaborated digital maps. The setting up of such a multi-stakeholders’ consultation is propaedeutic for the fine tuning of the newly developed digital maps with the requirements of the main users involved in forecasting, preparing to and managing disasters in the chosen testing area. This will lay the ground for the development of a well-tailored EO-based product, capable of matching 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 around a common table the General Directorate of Civil Emergency (GDCE, Ministry of Interior of Albania); CIMA Research Foundation – International Centre on Environmental Monitoring; Institute of Geosciences, Energy, Water and Environment (IGEWE); Prefecture of Shkodra; and, National Committee on High Dams (KESH).  This, with a view to presenting and sharing the early developed IncREO products and, foremost, to acquiring an integrated qualitative users’ feedback on the early products to better shape technical refinement during the second and final year of the project life span. This will mainly be done through an open discussion chaired by project partners on a dedicated questionnaire.

The User Validation Workshop on Increasing Resilience through Earth Observation for the Shkodër area is in line with a consolidating presence and activities of UNESCO Venice Office for Disaster Risk Preparedness and Reduction in Albania. It will be followed by other technical meetings and thematic workshops. 


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