News and Events in ECOPOTENTIAL

Summer School: Cross-Scale Interactions in the Coupled Geosphere-Biosphere System



15-24 June 2016, Valsavarenche, Valle d’Aosta (Italy)

This Summer School aims at providing young researchers – in particular doctorate students – with an up-to-date interdisciplinary course presenting a quantitative approach to the physical, chemical, geological, biological and ecological principles of geosphere-biosphere interactions on multiple spatial and temporal scales, focusing on the role of Earth Observations and of modelling approaches. The Course is organised in the framework and with funding from the H2020 European Project 641762 “ECOPOTENTIAL: Improving Future Ecosystem Benefits through Earth Observation”. Website:

ECOPOTENTIAL In-situ and Remote Sensing Data Teams Meet Together in a Workshop in Barcelona – 26th – 29th April 2016. Barcelona – Spain



Cristina Domingo and Joan Masó (WP4 leaders) – CREAF – Catalonia, Spain

The first ECOPOTENTIAL internal workshop on in-situ and remote sensing data for Protected areas took place in Barcelona from the 26th to the 29th of April 2016. The meeting congregated more than forty scientists from several institutions participating in ECOPOTENTIAL. The first day of WP5 individual sessions, led by Dr. Johannes Peterseil (EAA), were devoted to facilitate the flow of in-situ data in terms of complete metadata and semantics. The sessions were boosted with small working group discussions about data needs for researchers and its fitness of use, as well as requested data formats and future data requirements. Afterwards, a joint meeting (WP4 and WP5) followed, in which synergies between remote sensing and in-situ measurements, methodologies and synchronization of field campaigns were discussed. The session also offered the opportunity to define a common approach to data quality vocabulary. Finally, the WP4 meeting, led by Dr. Joan Masó (CREAF), was based on a deep analysis of the Earth observation data needs of the six different storylines. Gran Paradiso National park storyline need grasslands description, Peneda-Gêres requires automatically generated land cover maps for management, Har HaNegev National Park wants to describe the effects of human settlements in the environment, Northern Limestone National Park is concerned about forests dynamics, Doñana National Park bothers about hydrological cycles and the Wadden Sea is wondering about sea dynamics (waves) from EO. Information derived from the talks together with several other requests previously collected from different Protected Areas are helping to configure the basis to define the work plan for each of the partners involved in WP4. Two special sessions about data processing tools in the Terradue Sandbox and data uncertainties and QualityML closed the meeting, which was a good opportunity to align the contributions of both Work Pakages and to coordinate efforts for establishing a robust framework for the rest of the project.

ECOPOTENTIAL Side-Event Stresses the Benefits to Society of Protecting Mountain Ecosystems


25th of April, Brussels, Belgium – The ECOPOTENTIAL project held a side-event at the conference «Mountains for Europe’s Future: Putting Mountains on the Horizon 2020 Agenda» organized by the CH-AT Alliance and attended by almost 60 people. The Swiss-Austrian alliance aims to support research for sustainable development of European mountain regions. During the conference, the Strategic Research Agenda “Mountains for Europe’s Future” was presented.

The side event, held at the Scotland house in Brussels, was opened and chaired by Sylvie Motard, Deputy Director, UNEP Regional Office for Europe. Subsequently, experts from partner’s organizations in ECOPOTENTIAL presented the case for various PAs in mountain areas providing essential ecosystem services, such as fresh water, carbon sequestration and protecting biodiversity. Ana Stritih (ETH-Zurich) for example, presented a comparison between ecosystem services provided by protected mountain areas to those provided by non-protected mountain areas. Protecting mountain environments strengthens their capacity in returning benefit to both highland and lowland communities.

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