Saving the Black Sea
Issue 8, June 2005
Official Publication of the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution and the
GEF Ecosystems Recovery Project
Towards a new European Thematic Strategy on the Protection and Conservation of the Marine Environment [>>]
EC Assistance to the Black Sea Commission [>>]
BSC and UNEP Take Action Against the Marine Litter [>>]
The Implementation of the Black Sea Strategic Action Plan A Bulgarian Perspective [>>]
Turkey Implements the Black Sea Strategic Action Plan [>>]
Protection and rehabilitation of the Black and Azov Seas in Ukraine [>>]
Black Sea Contingency Plan to the Protocol on Cooperation in Com-bating Pollution of the Black Sea by Oil and Other Harmful Sub-stances in Emergency Situations [>>]
Cooperation between Black Sea and Baltic Sea Experts [>>]
Black Sea GIS [>>]
Ukraine Key Events in Environ-mental Management [>>]
Georgian Black Sea is important wintering habitat of cetaceans [>>]
Results of EuropeAid Project 2002 2004 in Russian Federation [>>]
The Black Sea "Shell Palace [>>]
Black Sea Action Day [>>]
ICZM Progress in Romania [>>]
Black Sea Biodiversity and Landscape Conservation [>>]
International Black Sea Day: an Event for the Whole Public [>>]
From Black to Blue: A Sea Being Saved [>>]
Background. Employing GIS technologies for environmental management dates back to the 50s when the first electronic maps and digital image processing software was developed and deployed. GIS technologies apart from being capable of superb visualization of environmental processes provide for analysis of spatial and network relationships, which may not be evident from the analysis of point data. They also allow for superimposition of human pressures data (i.e. population, industry, land use, tourism, infrastructure facilities, etc.) with impact data (i.e. pollution, eutrophication, biodiversity data, etc.) giving a deeper than ever insight into the forces determining the status of the environment.
Black Sea GIS 1996. With political and economic reforms in the Black Sea coastal states in the early 90s digital data on the Black Sea became more and more available. Parallel to this development of computing power brought GIS applications within the fingertips of every expert.
The 1st Phase of the Black Sea Environmental Programme in the 90s developed the basis of a GIS system of the Black Sea. Available administrative, topographic, hydrologic, geology etc. maps of the Black Sea were digitized. Proprietary file formats for storing of the map data and an application for graphical presentation, carrying out of basic operations such as overlay of layers, presentation of averages, minimum, maximum etc. values within a time period were developed.
Black Sea GIS 2005. With the start of operation of the Permanent Secretariat in 2000 priority was given to the institutional strengthening of the newly operational unit and to the development of an information system to meet the needs of the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution. To this end funding was mobilized from the GEF UNDP Black Sea Ecosystems Recovery Project (Phase 1) for development of the necessary software, templates and information flow mechanisms for national reporting of the Black Sea countries. EC support was mobilized to upgrade the existing information infrastructure (networking, GIS software and base maps, web application development for adding web interactivity of maps, etc.) and provide expertise for application development, digitization and maintenance of the information system.
The basic outline of an Information System to serve the information needs of the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution, based on established information flows and reporting mechanisms thus emerged:
To further enable spatial referencing of data as well as to analyze spatial, temporal and network relationships the national reporting data has to be linked to the GIS maps. Basic GIS software was procured, along with several extensions allowing spatial and 3D analysis. As base maps a 3D Digital Elevation Model with water bodies, settlements, rail and road infrastructure are used. The data layer structure of the Black Sea GIS is given below:
Future developments. The main tasks emerging relate to streamlining the information flows, reduction of repetitive manual input of data within the national reporting procedures, full linkage of all aspects of national reporting to spatial map objects, addition of additional web interactivity. Further, the improvement of server capacity and bandwidth shall be considered as user feedback is incorporated into the existing design and the user base widens and functionality increases.
IT && Administration Expert
Permanent Secretariat Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution