For the past two years, the IASON project has been working to facilitate sustainability through improved Earth observations and research sharing. In May, the project came to an end, offering an opportunity to review the program’s successes and envision research goals for the future.
Partly funded by the European Commission, the IASON project’s mission was to establish an enduring Earth observation network of scientific and non-scientific institutions. This network focuses on the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions, with emphasis on coastal monitoring, water and soil resources management, and mining and mineral exploration. The efforts are international and bring together representative organizations from: Italy, Greece, Serbia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Cyprus, Albania, Morocco, Croatia, Turkey, Georgia, Romania and Tunisia.
In addition to encouraging collaboration among member countries, the IASON project worked to improve data integration and sharing, identify gaps in existing research, and provide tools and consultation to non-scientific entities.
Workshops, publications, and tools were developed during the IASON project’s two-year run. Recommendations for improved networking and research initiatives from the project are summarized in the IASON Policy Brief and Executive Summary. One example of an area of concern was freshwater availability. The summary called for improved monitoring of freshwater systems in the region, analysis and communication of potential impacts of climate change on water quality and supply, and consideration of urban water systems in general.
Although IASON’s initial work has been completed, partners and participants anticipate that the collaborations and programs that grew out of this project will continue into future years.