New EU project MarineSABRES to tackle coastal and marine biodiversity decline

marine biodiversity loss

LifeWatch ERIC is pleased to announce that it is involved as a partner in a new, EU-funded research project called MarineSABRES. The project aims to address the continued and accelerated biodiversity loss caused by the intensification of human activities at land and sea. The project — coordinated by MaREI, the SFI Centre for Energy, Climate, and Marine Research at University College Cork — will bring together an international consortium of 22 partners across 11 countries and will receive €9.8m in funding from Horizon Europe, the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation. Running for four years, MarineSABRES aims to enable stakeholders from government and policy, coastal and marine management, scientists, and the public to make informed decisions that balance human and ecosystem needs.

To set European marine management on a course to reverse biodiversity decline, MarineSABRES will bring together diverse audiences and perspectives to co-design a simple Socio-Ecological System (SES) framework. The aim of this approach is to strengthen interventions and measures for the protection and conservation of coastal and marine areas and improve the uptake of ecosystem-based management. The Simple SES will be tested in three areas: the Tuscan Archipelago, where research will focus on seagrass conservation and protection; the Arctic (Greenland, the Faroes, and Iceland), where work will address climate change and fisheries; and Macaronesia (Azores, Madeira, and the Canaries), where the emphasis will be on biodiversity conservation and the responsible use of the region for multiple maritime activities.

The coming decade will be critical in meeting the challenge of climate change, reversing trends in biodiversity loss, and developing a sustainable ocean economy. Effective marine environmental management and biodiversity protection are fundamental to achieving the transformation to a modern, resource-efficient, and competitive low-carbon sustainable ocean economy. MarineSABRES’ Simple SES approach aims to show how we can protect and maintain the natural structure and processes of marine ecosystems while simultaneously delivering the societal goods and benefits that people rely on. Successful development of this Simple SES will enable managers to make sustainable decisions; empower citizens to engage with marine biodiversity conservation; promote sustainable development in coastal and marine sectors and setting European marine management on a course to reverse biodiversity decline.

You can find more detailed information on this project at the following page

You can learn more about the projects in which LifeWatch ERIC is involved on the Related Projects page

Balloon Sensor Released to Collect Data on Agriculture Biodiversity Impacts

Balloon Sensor

Andalusia, the region home to the LifeWatch ERIC Statutory Seat and ICT-Core, drives the innovative Smartfood Project in the agricultural and fishing sectors. SmartFood is led by the Andalusia Agency for Agriculture and Fisheries Development (AGAPA), which is part of the Junta de Andalucía, and its aim is to better understand the impact of agriculture on the region’s biodiversity. On Monday 18 July, in Cordoba, a project event was held in which a balloon sensor probe was thrown, attended by LifeWatch ERIC CEO, Christos Arvanitidis, CTO, Juan Miguel González-Aranda, Project Coordinator, Rocío Moreno Domínguez, Direction Secretary and QARM/FitSM Technical Assistant, María Luz Vázquez Santana, and Satellite & HAPS Operations Manager for Earth Observations and Navigation Applications, Jaime Lobo.

The first flight of the balloon sensor probe took place on Cordoba University Campus, called ‘Rabanales’, with the principal aim of gathering data on the agricultural impact on a natural environment, as well as identifying and quantifying variables associated with ecosystem services in the agricultural sector.

AGAPA Director, José Carlos Álvarez Martín, commented on the importance of governamental institutions like Junta de Andalucía supporting projects as Smartfood, given the strategic importance of the agriculture and fishing sectors.

In the same vein, Dr Arvaniditis noted that the Andalusian region is a strategic European partner, due to its agricultural potential and natural protected areas becoming a hotspot for the development of these kinds of projects.

Finally, Dr González-Aranda highlighted that these types of projects are essential for sustainability development and innovation, so that we can measure the impact of climate change in order to advise better decision-making based on FAIR data. He also mentioned the importance of optimising existing distributed resources by improving our understanding of their associated ecosystem services.

2nd General Assembly of the ResInfra EU-LAC Project

ResInfra EU-LAC General Assembly

This week, LifeWatch ERIC personnel Juan Miguel González-Aranda (CTO), Maria Luz Vázquez (Direction Secretary & QARM – FiTSM Technical Assistant for ICT-Core), Rocío Moreno (Project Executive Coordinator) and Cristina Huertas Olivares (International Initiatives & Projects Manager) are in Montevideo, Uruguay, for the second General Assembly of ResInfra EU-LAC.

The ResInfra EU-LAC project pursues the construction of bi-regional collaboration between European Union and the LAC countries (Latin America and the Caribbean), and the meeting has gathered representatives from Uruguay and the European Commission as well as partners of the EU-LAC ResInfra Consortium to discuss items such as the project Sustainability Plan, the benefits of Research Infrastructure cooperation, and the next Horizon Europe INFRA work programme. On 20 July, LifeWatch ERIC CTO Juan Miguel González-Aranda gave a presentation on the “LifEuLAC pilot on Biodiversity and Climate Change.”

To learn more about the projects LifeWatch ERIC is involved in, please visit our Related Projects page.

ALL-Ready Pilot Network Meeting

ALL-Ready Pilot Network Meeting

The ALL-Ready Pilot Network Meeting took place on 4-6 July 2022 in Ghent, including a Demonstration Day in Hansbeke. The meeting gathered the members of the Pilot Network and the consortium partners, in person and remotely. The meeting included an interesting discussion about how to operationalise the thematic working groups during the project and a learning roundtable about best practices for co-creation, involving stakeholders. On the second day, a workshop was organised for Work Packages 4, 5 and 6 to discuss 1) Why a European Network of Agroecology Living Labs and Research Infrastructure is important, 2) What competencies and skills a European Network can improve, and 3) How a Virtual Research Environment can support a European Network. The second day concluded with a ILVO Living Lab Agrifood Technology demo of their agro-ecological trial platform in Hansbeke – a great opportunity to experience how a #LivingLab operates and to learn how to improve soil quality based on low input use.

During the meeting, Iria Soto, LifeWatch ERIC Agroecology Project Manager, represented the infrastructure as a member of the Pilot Network, and José Manuel Ávila, LifeWatch ERIC Agroecology Coordinator, dynamised the workshop to validate the functionalities of the Agroecology Virtual Research Environment, which was already defined in the previous workshop, with the members of the Pilot Network. 

ALL-Ready is a European-Funded H2020 project that aims to prepare a framework for a future European network of Living Labs and Research Infrastructures that will enable the transition towards agroecology throughout Europe. Based on the premise that agroecology can strengthen the sustainability and resilience of farming systems, the project will contribute to addressing the multiple challenges that they are facing today including climate change, loss of biodiversity, dwindling resources and degradation of soil and water quality. It is a Coordination and Support Action funded by the European Commission. 

To learn more about the projects in which LifeWatch ERIC is involved, please visit the Related Projects page.

In Athens for the EOSC Future Consortium Meeting

EOSC Future

The EOSC Future General Assembly and Consortium Meeting took place on 5–6 July 2022 at the Royal Olympic Hotel, Athens. The meeting gathered the consortium partners, in person and remotely, and was a crucial moment to assess the first 18 months of work, align technical and non-technical milestones, and coordinate the steps ahead to ensure the success of project activities.

EOSC Future is an EU-funded H2020 project that is implementing the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), which will give European researchers access to a fully operational web of data and related services founded on FAIR protocols, principles and standards for accessing interoperable datasets.

Several members of LifeWatch ERIC attended the key event in the project calendar, among whom CEO Christos Arvanitidis, CTO Juan Miguel González-Aranda, Training Officer Cosimo Vallo, Project Manager Ana Mellado García, Data Lakehouse and Blockchain Officer Joaquín López Lérida and International Initiatives & Projects Manager Cristina Huertas-Olivares. Being Work Package 6 leader, Christos Arvanitidis presented the progress of WP6 to the consortium during the discussion on Science Projects, following the review of the project after its first year in operation. Cosimo Vallo also updated the consortium on the next steps of the project’s training plan, as part of Work Package 9. 

To learn more about the projects in which LifeWatch ERIC is involved, please visit the Related Projects page.

BiCIKL Project Open Call – send in your expression of interest!

BiCIKL Open Call Projects

The BiCIKL project is welcoming submissions of Expression of Interest (EoI) for the First BiCIKL Open Call for projects. The purpose of this call is to solicit, select and implement four to six biodiversity data-related scientific projects that will make use of the added value services developed by the leading Research Infrastructures that make up the BiCIKL project.  

BiCIKL has established a European starting community of key research infrastructures, researchers, citizen scientists and other biodiversity and life sciences stakeholders based on open science practices through access to data, tools and services.

To learn more about this Open Call for Projects, please visit the dedicated page on the BiCIKL project website.

You can learn more about the projects LifeWatch ERIC is involved in on the Related Projects page.

FAIR-IMPACT: Expanding FAIR solutions across EOSC

LifeWatch ERIC is glad to be actively participating in the FAIR-IMPACT project kick-off meeting, taking place as a hybrid event on 27 and 28 of June in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, following the official launch of the project on 1 June 2022.

With the ambitious goal of realising an European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) of FAIR data and services, the Horizon Europe project will support the implementation of FAIR-enabling practices, tools and services across scientific communities at a European, national, and institutional level, connecting knowledge across scientific domains on persistent identifiers, metadata and ontologies, metrics, certification and interoperability aspects via a community-led approach. The project will build on the successful practices, policies, tools and technical specifications arising from FAIRsFAIR, other H2020 projects and initiatives, and from the FAIR and other relevant Working Groups of the former EOSC Executive Board.

Service Centre ICT Coordinator, Nicola Fiore, carried out a presentation in the Integrated Use Cases session during the meeting on 27 June, on Metadata and Ontologies: the role of EcoPortal.

More information can be found about FAIR-IMPACT on the project website, LinkedIn profile and Twitter page.

You can learn about other projects in which LifeWatch ERIC is involved on the Related Projects page.

Environmental Education as a Tool for Teaching Inclusivity

giovani ambasciatori

On 31 May 2022, at the Palazzo Marchesale of the Municipality of Melpignano, the closing event of the activities between schools and universities of the project “young sustainability ambassadors: Environmental education as a tool for teaching inclusivity” took place, funded by the University Consortium Interprovincial Salentino (Proposing body: Municipality of Melpignano, Executive Body: University of Salento, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies and Department of History, Society and Human Studies).

The meeting was attended by: Valentina Avantaggiato, Mayor of Melpignano; Corrado De Concini, President of the National Academy of Sciences called XL; Rossano Ivan Adorno, Delegate for Human Resources of the University of Salento (representing CUIS); Alberto Basset, Delegate for Sustainability at the University of Salento (Project Coordinator); Franca Sangiorgio, Dip. of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies (Project Activities Manager); and 170 students representing schools of every kind which are part of the project.

The project aims to raise awareness among younger generations about environmental issues, by delving into of the topics of sustainability and inclusivity (https://ecologicamente.lifewatchitaly.eu/giamsos/). The approach was based on a co-teaching model that involved students and students of the Bachelor of Science in Primary Education, trainers at primary schools, and secondary school students, as well as students who have been teaching in secondary schools.

In total, about 650 primary and secondary school students from 23 schools in the area of Salento participated in the project, in addition to students and students of the Bachelor of Science in Primary Education Sciences teaching Ecology and Special Pedagogy.

The project also included a training course on the S.O.F.I.A. platform for tutors of the secondary school.

Among the project partners were LifeWatch Italia, which hosts the project site on its platform, and the School Networks: Ambito 17 and RESATUR.

During the closing event, the award ceremony was also held for the winners of the project logo competition and the online serious game competition, on issues of sustainability and inclusivity.

Photogallery of the CUIS Award Ceremony: https://youtu.be/9QuSA_Ou2NY

This news item was originally posted on LifeWatch Italy.

ProMeteo Project Presented in Seville

The ProMeteo project launched by Seville City Council, which will classify and name heat waves according to their impact, and provide a network of climate shelters to protect people from excessive temperatures, will be made possible by the involvement of LifeWatch ERIC and other strategic partners.

The mayor of Seville, Antonio Muñoz, and the director of the Adrienne Arsht Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center, Kathy Baughman McLeod, the organisation promoting the initiative, thanked partners of the project at a launch on 21 June 2022.

Seville’s pioneering strategy recognises the serious consequences that extended periods of extreme heat can have on people’s health, on animals and on the economy. Names will be attributed to heat waves and alert warnings issued on the basis on forecasts made by an algorithm capable of predicting and classifying impacts in advance.

Alongside LifeWatch ERIC, the ProMeteo initiative includes the Spanish Meteorology Agency, the University of Seville, the Pablo de Olavide University, the Carlos III Institute, the Spanish Office for Climate Change, and the Alliance “El Día Después”. For more information, click here.

United in Biodiversity: Advancing Andalusia’s Green Revolution through the Digital Transformation

Andalusia's Green Revolution

LifeWatch ERIC CTO Dr Juan Miguel González-Aranda has been featured in the Tribuna de Andalucía to present six of theprojects in which the Research Infrastructure is involved in the heartland of its ICT-Core and Statutory Seat offices. The title of the article is “United in Biodiversity: Advancing Andalusia’s Green Revolution through Digitisation”, and the ERDF projects presented demonstrate how LifeWatch ERIC uses state-of-the-art technology such as AI, Deep Learning and Virtual Research Environments to protect biodiversity, in collaboration with other important figures in the research sector, such as CSIC, the University of Malaga, the University of Granada, the Junta de Andalucía, and many more.

Additionally, by following a participatory approach to its work, LifeWatch ERIC aims to raise awareness among citizens about the important projects it has underway, which in turn can contribute to preserving the variety and richness of terrestrial, marine and transitional ecosystems.

Click here to read the full article on page 15 (in Spanish).