Disaster risk management, Geographic information systems (GIS), Information and communication technologies, Water security, Water management

 In cooperation with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and Esri, with support from the Eye on Earth Initiative and United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Global Universities Partnership for Environment and Sustainability ( GUPES)



Course date

6 July - 10 July, 2015
The application process is closed.
Course Director(s): 

Viktor Lagutov

ISEPEI Project, Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, CEU

Mahesh Pradhan

United Nations Environmental Program, Nairobi, Kenya
Course Faculty: 

Lorant Czaran

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Zsuzsanna Gabor

Central European University, Hungary

Irina Makarenko

Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution, Turkey

Kirstin Miller

Ecocity Builders’ Speakers Bureau, Oakland, California, USA

Arnold Nagy

Environmental Systems Laboratory, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Ed Parsons

Google, UK

Vadim Sokolov

Global Water Partnership, Central Asia and Causasus, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
This course aims to bridge the gap between decision- and policy-makers and ICT technologies (e.g. GIS, remote sensing), making data and emerging technologies more accessible, usable, and relevant for decision-making. It
is focused on the application of ICTs in water management and security and is a preparatory activity for the Eye on Earth Summit 2015. The target audience for the course includes environmental mid-career professionals,
decision-makers, and relevant university teachers and researchers working in the field of water management and water 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.
Course information:
Having secure access to relevant environmental information is no longer out of the question. Numerous data repositories are open for both professional communities and the general public and the amount of accessible environmental data is rapidly increasing each year. Despite the overwhelming availability of data, there is a large gap between environmental / public policy professionals and information and communication technology (ICT) communities in terms of technical capacity to use, understand, and apply these technologies.
Maintaining the ability to access and to interpret available data is a new challenge for decision makers, as more and more data is becoming available and 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 directly be 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 course 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 Esri) into the classroom and arranging their direct communication with decision making groups. An UNOOSA representative will be conducting an additional day-long workshop on remote
sensing applications in environmental monitoring and natural resource management and an Esri representative will be conducting a day-long workshop on the potential application of Esri products in water management. In addition, the course will be featuring an array of faculty from leading global institutions, including representatives from the the UNECE Water Secretariat and the Black Sea Commission, among others.
This course is being carried out as a preparatory activity for the Eye on Earth Summit 2015 and is conducted as a part of the ISEPEI Project. The Eye on Earth Summit is devoted to enabling access to environmental and societal data for global leaders, decision-makers, and all those who need it. Several Special Initiatives developed under the auspices of the Summit will be presented and will contribute to the course, including UNEP Global University Partnership for Environment and Sustainability (GUPES – http://www.gupes.org) and the Disaster Management Special Initiative, among others.
The primary focus of this course is ICT application 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 practitioner and discussed. The course will contribute to disseminating recent research results and raising awareness about potential ICT benefits.
Limited funding and/or tuition waivers available for select participants.