Bridging ICTs and the Environment - Making Information Talk and Technologies Work for Water Security

Workshop focus: bridging the gap between academia and cutting edge technologies by bringing ICT developers into the classroom and arranging their direct communication with decision-makers in water management and security.

Intended audience:

  • Environmental mid-career professionals to assist them in implementing the newest ICT solutions;
  • Decision-makers to provide them with an overview of potential use of emerging ICT technologies to include in their management and development strategies;
  • Relevant university teachers to update their curricula on environmental ICTs;
  • Environmental researchers not previously exposed to this area.

Technologies covered: remote sensing, geospatial technologies, data publishing, and decision-support systems, among others

Technological/topical literacy required: overall computer literacy is essential, but previous exposure to advanced geospatial technologies is not required (although beneficial). Proven experience with any aspect of water security / water management is a prerequisite.

Workshop Directors

Viktor Lagutov, Systems Laboratory, Central European University (CEU), Budapest, Hungary
Mahesh Pradhan, Environmental Education and Training Unit, United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), Nairobi, Kenya

Workshop Faculty

Lorant Czaran, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), Vienna, Austria
Zsuzsanna Gabor, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
Irina Makarenko, Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution, Istanbul, Turkey
Kirstin Miller, Ecocity Builders, California, USA
Arnold Nagy, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
Ed Parsons, Google, London, UK
Vadim Sokolov, Scientific-Information Center of the Interstate Coordination Water Commission of Central Asia (SIC ICWC) / Global Water Partnership Central Asia and Caucasus (GWP CACENA), Uzbekistan

Workshop Information

Decision-makers are faced with the constant challenge of maintaining access to and understanding available data, as more and more data is becoming available and as information and communication technologies (ICTs) are constantly evolving. But despite the overwhelming availability of data, there is a large gap between environmental / public policy professionals and ICT communities in terms of technical capacity to use, understand, and apply these technologies. Technological advances in data mining and analysis quickly become obsolete and practitioners have to sustain their professional skills by regular review of emerging tools and their potential applications. Even though decision-makers might not be directly involved in data mining and analysis, they will greatly benefit from a periodic general overview of emerging technologies and their potential use in order to better shape management strategies and make more informed decisions.

This workshop aims at bridging the gap between environmental / public policy professionals and cutting-edge technologies and their practical application by bringing ICT developers and experts (e.g. the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and Google) into the classroom and arranging their direct communication with decision-making groups. The workshop will be featuring an array of faculty from leading UN agencies and global institutions, including representatives from the Black Sea Commission, among others.

This workshop is being carried out as a preparatory activity for the Eye on Earth Summit 2015. Eye on Earth is a global initiative, comprised of a diverse set of stakeholders from around the world aiming to address access to information to support sustainable development. Several Special Initiatives developed under the auspices of the Summit will be presented and will contribute to the workshop, including UNEP Global University Partnership for Environment and Sustainability (GUPES), Eye on Disaster Management Special Initiative, and Eye on Water Security Special Iniative, among others.

The primary focus of this workshop is ICT applications in water management and water security. It will cover a number of technologies including remote sensing, geospatial technologies, data publishing, and decision-support systems, among others. In particular, the role of satellite-based earth monitoring and remote sensing for environmental studies and management will be discussed, highlighting their potential and limitations. In addition, a series of recently completed and ongoing research projects in the field of geospatial-based decision-making will be presented first-hand by practitioners and discussed. The workshop will contribute to disseminating recent research results and raising awareness about potential ICT benefits.


Application Information

Application process is closed. Check back later to see if we'll be running a similar workshop next year!

Additional Information

This workshop is a part of the ISEPEI Project, a joint project of UNEP's GUPES and CEU and run under the organizational framework of the CEU Summer University.

This workshop is being run with the support of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI).

More information can be found at