Eye on Earth Summit: In Service ICT Training for Environmental Professionals (ISEPEI)
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. 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.
ISEPEI, the joint project of the Global University Partnership on Environment and Sustainability (GUPES) and Central European University (Budapest, Hungary), has been launched to bridge the gap between decision-makers and ICTs. The project is being run as a part of the Eye on Earth Summit 2015, an initiative aimed at convening global leaders to “collectively address the global challenge of increasing access to information to support sustainable development”. Originally developed as an Eye on Environmental Education Special Initiative project, ISEPEI has been actively developing and strengthening synergies with other thematic initiatives within Eye on Earth, including Eye on Water Security, Eye on Disaster Management, Eye on Access for All, and Eye on Community Sustainability and Resiliency. The work of the ISEPEI Project and of Eye on Earth stakeholders around the world over the past few years will be highlighted at the Eye on Earth Summit in Abu Dhabi October 6-8, 2015.
ISEPEI is conducting a series of workshops at Central European University involving Eye on Earth projects and stakeholders. The workshops in 2014 focused on the potential use of ICTs in water management and security, showing how these technologies are relevant, accessible, and easy to use for decision-making purposes, despite the traditional prejudices and fears among practitioners. A number of relevant technologies were covered throughout the 4-day event, including distance learning, satellite imagery, remote sensing, online databases, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), among others. The workshops featured faculty representing UN agencies and geospatial and environmental organizations around the world, including UNECE, UNEP, UNOOSA, Esri, and Google, among others. A diverse range of participants attended the workshops, representing government ministries, international environmental organizations, and commercial entities.
In addition to conducing ICT workshops, ISEPEI is developing a training manual on the potential application of ICTs in the realm of water management and security issues. The manual is aimed at environmental water professionals and decision-makers, who stand in a position to benefit from the understanding and utilization of these technologies. We are currently collecting case studies for the manual – please contact us at isepei.ceu [at] gmail [dot] com if you would like to have your organization’s work highlighted.