Establishment of a user network
As a baseline for the development of the SWOS services, the consortium started by defining the requirements for the SWOS technical components, products, toolbox and portal, as well as the preferred method of user engagement. The definition of user requirements was undertaken with users (who are not part of the SWOS team) operating in the field of wetland management through consultation and feedback, questionnaires and workshops. This SWOS user group consists of local, national, regional and global working organisations, in between local wetland managing organisations, Ramsar national authorities, MedWet and other regional frameworks, GEO/GEOBON and the secretariat of the Ramsar convention on wetlands.
This way, the SWOS team has built an effective and sustainable user community for the project duration and beyond, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the SWOS services.
SWOS has been supported by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and more than 20 User organisations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
GEO-Wetlands, initiated and led by SWOS, was officially approved for the work programme of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) by the GEO-XIII Plenary in 2016. GEO-Wetlands provides a framework for cooperation and for ensuring the long-term availability of mapping and monitoring services for wetlands that are currently being developed by different international projects. As such, its launch provides a huge opportunity for the whole wetlands community. It moves the development of a Global Wetlands Observation System (GWOS), a long-term endeavour of the Ramsar Convention and the wetlands community, from a conceptual stage to implementation.
Alliances and cooperation with partner projects and initiatives
The SWOS team has actively searched for synergy and alignment with relevant platforms and projects.
One such example is the cooperation with the H2020 project ECOPOTENTIAL. After a joint meeting in 2016, a couple of interactions between the two projects was established.
Another example is the cooperation with the Group on Earth Observation (GEO). SWOS has been actively involved in several GEO initiatives and activities. Beside the launch of the GEO-Wetlands initiative, contributions have been made to GEO-ECO, in the GEOSS-Evolve and the GEOSS Community Portal Team (GEOSS stands for Global Earth Observation System of Systems). SWOS has contributet to GEO events with presentations at several GEO Data Providers Workshops, European GEO Workshops, and side-events of GEO Plenaries.