On the 23-25 April, 2018 EO4EP team organised a study trip to Poland for Moldavian stakeholders engaged in the World Bank’s Climate Change Adaptation Project. The delegation consisted of eleven participants from General Inspectorate of Emergency Situations and the Search and Rescue Detachment of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the State Hydrometeorological Service and the representatives of the World Bank.
A 3-day visit took place in Warsaw and Cracow and included working sessions at the Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences (SRC PAS) premises as well as meetings in various Polish national institutions responsible for water resources management.
The main focus of the study visit was the use of EO for disasters risk management system in Poland with particular attention to flood protection practice, flood risk assessment and the crisis management activities.
Information sessions provided the overview of satellite remote sensing, satellite sensors, Sentinel family and web applications for data access. EO services providers from Astri Polska, and Geosystems Polska discussed the products and services developed within EO4EP project: river ice monitoring service, biomass estimations for hydrologic modelling, land cover / land use maps and digital elevation models. Additionally SRC PAS presented applications in the field of forest fires and flood extent mapping. The representative of the State Fire Service, a Polish authorized user of the Copernicus Emergency Management Service, demonstrated how to access crisis maps produced within the Copernicus Service.
The participants had a chance to learn from the Polish experience in carrying out large flood protection projects implemented in Poland by the WBG in the last 20 years, including the “Odra-Vistula Flood Management Project” where EO services are provided under the ESA EO4EP project.
The Polish crisis management system and mechanisms applied in case of floods or other natural disasters were presented during a site visit to the Provincial Crisis Management Centre in Mazowieckie Voivodship as well as a meeting with the representatives of the Government Centre for Security.
In Cracow, the Moldovan users visited the premises of the Remote Sensing Centre at the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management (IMGW), which operates a receiving and processing station for satellite data. IMGW demonstrated forecasting and warning systems, as well as the software that is in use in day-to-day operational work of the State Hydrological and Meteorological Service - a platform called “Hydromonitor” which is a basic hydrometeorological data source for Polish territory used for hydrological forecasting.
The last point of the study trip involved visiting the Regional Water Management Authority (RZGW) in Cracow, which is responsible, among other things, for flood protection and maintenance of the water infrastructure in the Upper Vistula. The RZGW shared its experiences related to the implementation of the EU Flood Directive, which included extensive flood hazard and flood risk mapping.
The follow up visits in Moldova are scheduled for the upcoming months marking the next step in this regional knowledge exchange.