CEU Assistant Professor Viktor Lagutov, head of the Environmental Systems Laboratory at the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy at CEU, has recently been appointed the facilitator of the Eye on Water Security Special Initiative. This appointment coincides with the UN’s World Water Day, a worldwide event showcasing the importance of this vital resource.
Eye on Earth is the convergence of a series of initiatives by several organizations around the world over the past few years, all aiming to address the crucial importance of environmental and societal information and networking to decision-making. After the first Eye on Earth Summit in 2011, the second Summit is set to take place October 6-8, 2015 in Abu Dhabi. This event, focused on “Informed Decision-Making for Sustainable Development” is committed to identifying solutions for greater access to and sharing of environmental, societal and economic data by covering key themes, including data demand, data supply, and data enabling conditions.
The Eye on Water Security Special Initiative addresses the challenging issues of political and organizational reluctance to share data and information related to water. Without available, accurate and transparent data, it is difficult to support scientific study, policy analysis, decision-making, and provision of information to the public. This Initiative aims to find practical means of addressing these issues by convening thought and action leaders of the global water community.
Lagutov has been an active member in the Eye on Earth movement since its inception, contributing to the Eye on Earth 2011 working group. His efforts in the Eye on Earth movement are extensive, with a focus on the Eye on Environmental Education Special Initiative, of which he is now the acting Chair (http://www.ceu.edu/article/2015-03-10/lagutov-appointed-chair-eye-earth-special-initiative).
In his new role as facilitator, Lagutov will be responsible for leading and engaging the Eye on Water Security stakeholder community, including governmental organizations, NGOs, private firms and representatives from the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI), UN Environment Programme (UNEP), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), Esri, and many more.
The culmination of the work of the Water Security Special Initiative will be showcased at the Eye on Earth Summit in October. In addition, Lagutov will conduct two events at CEU Summer University associated with the ISEPEI Project in July, both related to water security and closely tied to Eye on Earth activities. Making Information Talk and Technologies Work for Water Security will take place July 6-10, 2015 in cooperation with the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs. Innovations in Disaster Risk Management from July 13-17, 2015 will be in cooperation with the UN Development Programme’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support. Outcomes from these events will be presented at the October summit.
Registration for the two events can be completed at the CEU Summer University website. CEU faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to register.