The project aims at further fostering cooperative ties between the countries of Central Asia and Europe in developing and applying Earth Observation (EO) technologies for effective environmental monitoring.

The project intends to take a significant step towards deeper integration of respective organizations from Central Asian countries into the activities of GEO.

The project sees its mission and overall objective to further strengthen the cooperation between Europe and the countries of Central Asia within GEO by implementing a coherent set of activities aimed at building GEO-related capacity in the domain of Earth Observation in the target countries. This global objective will be attained by pursuing the following operational objectives:

  1. To assess the status quo in all Central Asian countries in the view of existing needs, technical and economic capacities, potential stakeholders/providers and their requirements (along the lines of the 9 Social Benefit Areas of GEOSS). As a result of attaining this objective the project will develop a set of National White Books “National needs and capacities in the domain of Earth Observations” (tentative title) highlighting the following:
    • Most important economic, environmental, etc. area where EO data is needed
    • Existing and prospective national policies, legislation, initiatives, projects
    • Major national stakeholders with specifications of their requirements
    • Existing providers with their technological expertise, infrastructure and other capacities
    • Gaps and Needs analysis
    The documents will be developed by the working groups comprising European and local experts to be made available for local authorities, European organizations (users/providers), other interested entities.
  2. To roadmap the future national/international activities in the domain EO targeted at capacity building in GEO. The roadmaps to be developed for all Central Asian countries will include time-bound and detailed specifications of the activities to be undertaken in conjunction with national economic and S&T strategies and in the context of planned international GEO-relevant initiatives (10-Year Implementation Plan of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS); The Seville Roadmap - Mobilizing Resources for Implementing GEOSS), milestones with the lists of indicators to be achieved, players (stakeholders/providers) concerned, etc. These documents will be designed in order to help national authorities in strategic planning, including resources appropriation.
  3. To implement the Capacity Building and Brokerage Programme in all the target countries to significantly increase the regional capacity to participate in the running and planned GEO activities. The Programme will include a series of training events in support of EO capacity building, thereby providing a base of technical expertise for GEOSS, including the domain of environment/climate monitoring. A regional University Conference “Towards new Curricula in the field of Earth Observation and Geo-information technologies” will be organized in Uzbekistan. Also, a regional brokerage event will be organized to bring together interested European and local providers/stakeholders/donors and stimulate bi-regional cooperation. To create a sustainable regional network of national consulting GEO offices (based on the project’s partner organizations and, potentially, able to grow to the status of a national GEO point) in charge of coordination, monitoring and evaluation of efficacy of further capacity building efforts. As a result, in every target country a national GEO office will be set up, linked and promoted, in order to stimulate and coordinate GEO capacity building activities on the national level, serve as a “single entry” for international activities, carry out monitoring and evaluation.
  4. To set up a pilot regional infrastructure for gathering and spreading the environmental data. In order to demonstrate the benefits of cooperation and possible solutions based on GEOSS technologies, the project will set up the pilot network of low-cost terminal to enable access to the European system EO data exchange (GEONETCast terminals). A pilot regional database of surface waters quality observations will be developed and made accessible through GEONETCast. These facilities will be used for demonstration and training purposes in the course of training workshops. Besides, the project will set up and run the regional users’ forum to enable wider dissemination and cross-fertilization.
  5. To raise awareness of the benefits the cooperation within GEO can bring to all stakeholders, disseminate the project findings to relevant target groups, build liaisons and find synergies with other relevant initiatives and projects.