ECO-IMAGINE - European COnferences and forum for Integrated coastal MAnagement and Geo-INformation rEsearch

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ECO-IMAGINE - European COnferences and forum for Integrated coastal MAnagement and Geo-INformation rEsearch, web site[1]

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PROJECT OUTLOOK

  • ECO-IMAGINE is a project within the “Marie Curie Actions - Human Resources and Mobility Activities” under the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) - MSCF-CT-2003-504444
  • Keywords: Geographical Information, Integrated Coastal Management, Landscape, Interdisciplinarity, Mobility of researchers
  • Its general objective is fostering interdisciplinarity and building a structured knowledge in ICM through the use of GI technologies, under the paradigm of coastal landscape as unifying element.
  • ECO-IMAGINE is structured into a series of 8 events (conferences and training courses) with general theme the complementarity between Integrated Coastal Management and Geo-Information as support tool.
  • Project coordinators: GISIG – Geographical Information Systems International Group; ICCOPS – Landscape, Natural and Cultural Heritage Observatory

ECO-IMAGINE OBJECTIVES

The project aims at:

  • collecting at an international level the expertise of scientists and addressing it as a support for knowledge and decision enhancing the cross-sectoral opportunities supplied by GIS
  • supporting decision making by authorities in charge for planning and control, offering them highly qualified inter-disciplinary scientific assistance
  • increasing the effective impact of thematic projects favouring investigations tuned to the decided policies
  • disseminating the work of the participant structures and researchers by means of lectures, demonstrations and field work
  • creating a favourable environment for the establishment of an inter disciplinary forum for enhancing co-operation among different sectors
  • training cross-cutting operational experts, able to include an interdisciplinary, science based approach in local management initiatives

ECO-IMAGINE STRUCTURE

Four Working Groups are foreseen to address the main features in the field of Integrated Coastal Management and GI:

  • Building Coastal Knowledge

Analyses and monitoring of coastal realities exploiting the employment of GIS, as elements functional to an ICM programme and as assessment tool

  • Coastal Governance, Planning, Design

ICM programmes evolution and the related issues in the GIS perspective. In particular uses of coastal resources, impacts on environment, relations between the actors, assessment methodology, evolution of local policies/ planning towards ICM

  • Waterfront Management

Integrated management and planning of waterfront as core areas for the sustainable development of a wider context. In particular is emphasised the role of GIS in integrating waterfronts into the territorial scale

  • Geo-spatial Technologies

Technological features of GI and their applications in the different branches of ICM

ECO-IMAGINE DEVELOPMENT

The initiative, started in 2004, is developing according to the following scheme:

  • An initial Conference, introducing the general themes, the state of the art of the initiative and the Working Groups:
    • “GI and GIS for ICM”, Seville (ES), 13rd - 15th May 2004
  • A series of three thematic Conferences focusing, by means of background papers and presentations, on the issues and the state-of-the-art relevant to each Working Group:
    • “Coastal Governance, Planning, Design and GI”, Genoa (IT), 16th - 20th November 2004;
    • “Building Coastal Knowledge and GI”, Cork (IE), 13th -17th June 2006;
    • “The Waterfront Management and GI”, Genoa (IT), 14th - 18th November 2006
  • A series of three Training Courses, including tutorials, case studies, simulation exercises, field trips, in order to practically approach the themes discussed and to introduce to the use of GIS for ICM:
    • “The Waterfront Management and GI”, Estoril-Lisbon (PT), 31st May - 6th June 2005
    • “Coastal Governance, Planning, Design and GI”, Nice (FR), 21st - 26th November 2005
    • “Geo-spatial Technologies”, Aberdeen (UK), 23rd - 28th July 2007
  • A final Conference, summing up the Working Groups outputs and making a balance of the whole initiative, with a synthesis of the state of art in comparison with the start of the activity:
    • “Future Perspectives of GI for ICM”, Genoa (IT), 22nd - 24th November 2007

KEY POINTS

ECO-IMAGINE aims to integrate various thematic research activities related to ICM, under the paradigms of geographical information and coastal landscape, thus creating a comprehensive training environment. In particular, is to be stressed:

  • the relevance of the coastal landscape, as unifying element, either as a resource or as a research field, since the landscape is one of the most sensible evidence of the results of a management intervention
  • the fostering of an interdisciplinary approach through the integration of the sectoral achievements and the possibility of sharing them in a comprehensive frame
  • the transfer of knowledge and principles from intergovernmental organisations and scientific environments to national and local realities
  • the transfer of knowledge and experience from expert scientists to early stage researchers

TARGET AUDIENCE

The ECO-IMAGINE events are addressed to:

  • early stage researchers, that are able to benefit from the knowledge experience of senior scientists, and directly establish contacts, outside the constraints of academic research relationships
  • experienced researchers and scientists, that find a good environment for discussing their achievements, also in the perspective of an interdisciplinary approach. As a matter of fact, they are given the opportunity to discuss together with experts in other different fields about shared themes
  • ICM operators and local administrators, that are supplied with an opportunity of education according with the state of art, of a series of best practice samples and with the possibility of collaboration with some of the best European experts
  • representatives of NGOs and of associations of citizens that are able on one hand to have a general overview of the main issues about coastal areas, and on the other hand to interact with decision makers and scientists In particular, the events are conceived to offer the participants good opportunities of getting in touch with group working in an international, multi-disciplinary, operational-oriented environment.

THE PARTNERS OF ECO-IMAGINE

THE ECO-IMAGINE WEB-SITE AND THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE EVENTS

The ECO-IMAGINE web-site houses the explanation of the project objectives, partnership, structure, and development, together with the information about the past and future events and the conditions for participation with the related logistics. For each event, the call for grants for the support of participation is published together with the application forms to fill in and the registration forms for all the other participants. The section “ECO-IMAGINE Community” is user-dedicated and has been meant to improve the sharing of knowledge and the network building. The registration to the Community is free and allows the member to be constantly updated on the project development and to consult and download the proceedings of the events (i.e. programmes, abstracts, power point presentations, posters, related material, project descriptions, photo galleries).

LINKS WITH OTHER INITIATIVES

The enlargement and improvement of the ECO-IMAGINE Community and the development of the ICAM-GI network have led to the development of the following initiatives concerning coastal areas and geographic information:

  • GI-CLAN SDIC - Geo-Information Community in Coastal LANdscape Spatial Data Interest Community

Following a call addressed within the EU initiative INSPIRE, GI-CLAN has been constituted as a volunteer community of organisations operating in the field of GI and coastal management, with particular regard to coastal landscape, meant as the contact point between the natural and human features of a coastal area. GI-CLAN main aim is to create opportunities to discuss and share knowledge, expertise, needs, methodologies in the above mentioned fields of interest.

  • GI-INDEED - Geo-Information in the Implementation of Net-based Distance Education for Environmental Decision-making

The main goal of the project is to develop a training initiative that helps to bridge the lack of knowledge about the support that a tuned use of geo-information can offer to the various government levels in implementing the existing and the forthcoming EU environmental directives. The perspective is to favour a better environmental decision-making by the organisations in charge at the different levels of the process of governance.

Further reading


The main author of this article is Roccatagliata, Emanuele
Please note that others may also have edited the contents of this article.


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