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How can Earth observation help monitor the shrinking of Lake Taraclia in Moldova or walnut production in Georgia?

Country: Armenia, Georgia, Republic of Moldova
Component: Environmental Data

These were some of the questions addressed during a series of hands-on training sessions on the use of satellite data from the Copernicus programme. The series of workshops was organised by the EU4Environment Water and Data programme for experts in Armenia, Georgia and Moldova in December 2023.

The aim of the workshop was to introduce experts from the Eastern Partnership countries to the main characteristics and types of satellite imagery and to provide an overview of the Copernicus programme, its data and services. Participants were introduced to the Copernicus Data Space Ecosystem (, the newly launched portal for visualisation and download of Copernicus products.

Participants actively followed three case studies to understand and explore the potential of satellite data for land monitoring applications and to gain first-hand experience of processing satellite data in QGIS (an open-source geographic information system application that supports the viewing, editing and analysis of geospatial data).

Topics such as  inter-annual variability of vegetation productivity and its response to climatic conditions or forest change were explored. There were also some country specifics, such as a focus on agricultural productivity in Armenia, walnut production in Georgia and the shrinking of Lake Taraclia in Moldova.

The discussions helped to identify different applications that could benefit from the use of satellite data. Several thematic areas were identified, such as agriculture, water resources and climate.

A similar workshop will be held online for Ukraine in 2024.

Mapping land cover and land use is essential to determine what quantity of land is currently being used and for what purpose, and to identify changes in land use from year to year. This knowledge helps develop strategies to balance conflicting uses and nature protection. It helps to assess urban growth, model water quality issues, predict impacts from floods, and track wetland loss and the potential effects of rising sea levels, etc.

The EU-funded “EU4Environment – Water Resources and Environmental Data” Programme, launched in 2021, aims at supporting a more sustainable use of water resources and improving the use of sound environmental data ... Read more




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