Project Name: Copernicus assisted environmental monitoring across the Black Sea Basin – PONTOS
Project Acronym and Number: PONTOS, BSB-889
Project Start Date: 01.07.2020
Project End Date: 31.12.2022
Project Budget: EUR 999,967.28 
Funding: ENI CBC “Black Sea Basin Joint Operational Programme 2014-2020

  1. AUA Acopian Center for the Environment (Lead Partner), Armenia
  2. Centre for Research and Technology Hellas, Greece
  3. Democritus University of Thrace, Greece
  4. Environmental Protection and Mining Inspection Body of the Republic of Armenia
  5. Green Alternative, Georgia
  6. Odessa National I.I. Mechnikov University, Ukraine

PONTOS aims to enhance transboundary cooperation for large-scale, harmonized environmental monitoring across the countries of the Black Sea region and beyond. The vehicle towards this objective is the exploitation of numerous freely available and incrementally credible Copernicus data and services (e.g. Copernicus Land and Marine Environment Monitoring Services).

Intelligent fusion of data and information shall lead to novel services and products for actors operating along the coastal zone. Latter shall become, through PONTOS operational platform and mounted online services, freely available to and accessible by a multitude of local, national and regional stakeholders. Transboundary spaceborne derived primary (e.g. images) and secondary (e.g. maps) products will be coupled with existing data and knowledge of in situ conditions. Tailored to the regional challenges, solutions will be generated by utilizing this information thesaurus and retrieving methods and results (e.g. online modules and models) from EU and national past and ongoing research and development projects. Citizens’ current and future well-being will be the focus. As such, marine and lake coastal and inland human activities will be mapped targeting industry, recreation, agriculture, aquaculture, and commerce in Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, and pilot-wise in Greece. Their effluents towards the Black Sea or the lakes around it will be calculated, while at the same time spaceborne and in situ data will monitor fluctuations in marine features’ values, such as surface water temperature, salinity, nutrients, potentially toxic elements, and algae presence.

The impact will be assessed in relation to set benchmark conditions. Local stakeholders and actors will be informed and equipped with an adequate interface to access the information and its regular updates. Co-development and co-creation actions will respect national and local needs, constraints and vision. Together with capacity building activities PONTOS aims to offer the means to exploit in tandem existing local monitoring networks and Copernicus products and services, to align its online services with a compatible manner to existing hard- and software infrastructures, and to leverage cooperation and exchange of ideas and best practices across the region.


PONTOS’s overall objective is to make information and knowledge available to scientists, policymakers, citizens, and other relevant stakeholders and provide a full picture of the state and temporal evolution of Black Sea region environment. This is expected to be achieved by exploiting information technologies to

automatically retrieve Copernicus products, couple them with national or regional infrastructures for data acquisition and processing, and provide monitoring services for the Black Sea and the surrounding environment in a transboundary, standardized and homogenized manner. Convergent conservation strategies will be promoted at sites of regional significance as pilots to showcase the efficacy and credibility of the online services.


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