The Black Sea region represents a high priority in the political arena, characterised by an emerging dynamic economic growth and affected by important environmental transformations and climate impacts that requires continuous monitoring and assessment.
Since the early 1970’s, the Black Sea has been affected by significant ecological alterations, essentially caused by anthropogenic factors. Dam constructions on the Danube River in combination with heavy nutrients discharge via the riverine runoff result in large alterations to strong modifications of its physical and biogeochemical properties, ultimately leading to an enhancement of the typical anoxic state of the deep waters. As such, the Black Sea area has undergone significant transformations that caused important ecosystem changes and effects of global climate processes (eutrophication, impacts on ﬁsh stock, alien species invasion), pollution that affects the quality of the waters (especially in an almost closed sea), coastal erosion and impacts by global climatic processes such as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO).
In this context, Earth Observation (EO) represents an opportunity for innovative science, applications and information services to face some of these issues as well as a potential catalyser for innovation and growth in the region.
Nowadays, we are entering into a new era for EO science and applications driven by the continuously increasing observation capacity offered by the Sentinel missions, the opportunities for science offered by the Earth Explorer series and the capabilities to look at the past offered by the existing long-term EO data archives. To maximize the full exploitation of this unprecedented ability of space-borne Earth monitoring by the scientific community, industry and the public sector, dedicated research and development efforts are required.
The focus of this workshop is to assess the opportunities for EO research and development activities in the Black Sea Basin and the Danube Delta region that may be the basis for future ESA investments in terms of science, development of novel applications and testing new information services to address some of the key information needs of this important area.