Climate change (CC) is a complex problem in Europe and the world. Extreme weather conditions that cause wild forest fire, drought, flooding, etc. have caused billions and human lives. These events seriously impact the environment, rural development and economy. Coastal and marine areas are affected by rising sea levels which push storm surges further inland, creates more destructive flooding along the coastlines. Urban development and agricultural activities have contributed to greenhouse gas emissions which can affect the global carbon budget.
To mitigate negative effects of CC is particularly important in the current epidemiological situation with Covid-19. CC has very important geographical and spatial dimensions. GIS/RS (Geographical Information Systems/Remote Sensing) specialists represent a vast reservoir of knowledge, expertise, and best practices in applying the cornerstone technology to the science of climate change and understanding its impact on natural and human systems.
As substantial technical advancements in GIS/RS in terms of sensors technology and big data science have been made in recent years, there is an increasing need to provide quality online training of these novel techniques applied to CCM (Climate Change Management). This requires inputs from related disciplines and stakeholders, with continual updating and hands-on experience. Covid-19 has accelerated the introduction of innovative training approaches to CCM among European partners, it will boost the interest of a broad range of stakeholders (from students to professionals) in CCM using emerging RS/GIS and data science technologies.
All the academic partners have been working together in the area of GIS/RS through capacity building projects mainly in South East Asian region. This collaboration has prompted the need of strengthening their educational resources and identified Climate Change Management (CCM) as an area that merits further professional development among students and learners. Herein, this proposal supports the Digital Europe programme (2021-2027) and is aligned to the agenda of the European Economic and Social Committee’s Social Development Observatory (SDO). Providing a baseline for future CC analysts in the participating countries, GeoCLIC project outcomes will support the EU contribution to the implementation of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicated in the European Green and Social Deal.
Likewise, as indicated in the SDO work programmes for 2020-2023, GeoCLIC covers cornerstone application in the sector of Agriculture, Urban/Rural Development and Environment. At educational level, we have observed a mismatch between labour market needs and skills obtained by graduates without or lack of professional experience. GIS/RS for CC is a complex subject, requiring inputs from multiple disciplines and the participation of different stakeholders (private sector, policymakers, researchers, practitioners).Many current programmes have poor integration of stakeholders, trainings are inadequate because they cannot be related to the professional environment. Furthermore, female population tends to be under-represented in technical and engineering careers related to GIS/RS. This project targets female participation (students and learners) in GIS/RS for CCM. GeoCLIC also proposes the incorporation of Work-Based Learning (WBL) approach and internships to existing CC studies. WBL combines learning objectives and professional experience in order to enhance a pragmatic, progressive learning experience while meeting employability needs. It allows the inclusion of real cases and hands-on experiences in CC training programmes, and at the same time the transfer of up-to-date knowledge to all stakeholders.
Transnational collaborations, especially important in the current health crisis, would lead to improvements in GIS/RS training for CC by
a) Sharing of technical resources and human capital
b) Continuous updating and improvement.