April 24, 2009, Sopron, Hungary

Inauguration and first Consultative Workshop of the NEESPI
Regional Focus Research Center for Non-boreal Eastern Europe

date and venue:
April 24, 2009,
University of West Hungary, Faculty of Forestry,
Institute of Environmental and Earth Sciences
NEESPI Regional Centre,
University Campus, “P” Building, Sopron, Cházár tér 1.


10:00-11:00 Opening and inauguration
                     Prof. S. Faragó (rector, UWH): opening address of the Rector
                     Dr. P. Groisman (NOAA, Raleigh, N.C./NEESPI coordinator): NEESPI’s program
                     G. Gutman (NASA Headquarters, Washington): NASA's welcome
                     Prof. Cs. Mátyás (Inst. of Env. and Earth Sci.): declaration of Mission of the FRC
                     Welcoming by representatives of Hungarian institutions (among others, academician A. Borhidi, Hung. Ac. Sci.; academician A. Ádám, Inst. Geod. Geophys., Hung. Ac. Sci.; academician L. Bozó, Hungarian Meteorological Service)
                     FRC Inauguration
11:20-11:50 Press conference and poster session
12:00-13:30 Lunch break (official welcome lunch for invited guests in the mirror hall of Best Western-Pannonia Hotel, offered by the Rector)
13:30-14:30 Short walk in the historic town center and return to the P building
14:30-16:30 Afternoon session (Chair: G. Gutman)
Program discussion with NEESPI representatives and host partners, about the future tasks of NEESPI, specifically of the Focus Centre; short statements by foreign guests
Baklanov, Alexander Prof., vice-director of Danish Strategic Research Center for Energy, Environment and Health (CEEH), Copenhagen, Denmark
Bashmakova, Dr. Iryna University of Helsinki, Finland
Gordov, Evgeny Prof., Coordinator, NEESPI FRC for Siberia, Tomsk, Russia
Henebry, Geoffrey South Dakota State University, USA
Shugart H. H. Prof., Dept. of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
Shiklomanov, Alexander Dr., U. of New Hampshire, USA, NEESPI FRC for Hydrology
Wagner, Wolfgang Prof., Institute of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Vienna University of Technology, Austria

General discussion
17:00          Adjourn

Report on the inauguration event April 24, 2009

The afternoon session served as a brainstorming event to identify future tasks and goals of the Centre. Among the main topics potentially important for the region, the followings were mentioned (among others):
- Land use and land use change, optimization of use
- Land use/vegetation effect on hydrology, soil moisture conditions
- Extreme events, droughts, anomalies, fires
- Dynamics of ecosystems (primarily forests), modelling stability and health decline
- Carbon cycle development
- Regional climate modelling and comparison of models
Further: topics of energy consumption, urbanisation, health and sociological consequences

Goal of the Centre must be to support adaptation and mitigation strategy development for the region in view of anticipated changes of environment.
An inventory of running projects and available datasets is essential to develop useful proposals. Partner institutes and universities have to be found and links to regional centres (FAO, EU) have to be developed.
The Centre should develop a database which is useful and accessible for partners and promotes cooperation. With that aim the Geodetic and Geophysical Research Institute of Hungarian Academy of Sciences offered the database of the geophysical observatory in Nagycenk to the new NEESPI Focus Research Centre.
Training workshops for young scientists are needed to develop abilities for transdisciplinary cooperation.

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