What Is O-LiFE

O-LiFE was conceived to establish a scientific collaborative system to tackle priority environmental issues affecting the Mediterranean Basin that takes into consideration the reality of limited timeframe and resources.  O-LiFE is a shared environmental observatory between France and Lebanon to serve as a medium for scientific collaboration, resources and facilities sharing as well as for knowledge and expertise exchange.  Based on concrete environmental data and information, the platform allows for effective management of current issues while predicting future trends, scenarios and challenges.

The collaboration between the two Mediterranean countries, Lebanon and France, has resulted in promoting significant bilateral scientific exchange.  O-LiFE’s collaborative platform aims to identify and address issues of public concern, define common targets, share innovative ideas, improve scientific services and discuss actions to be implemented.  Furthermore, the platform established through O-LiFE allows for scientific exchange and communication in real time and through online meetings and web services.

The Lebanese counterpart of O-LiFE is based within the Remote sensing center (RSC) of the Lebanese “Conseil National de la Recherche Scientifique” (CNRS).  O-LiFE was initiated in 2012 and it will cover three phases:

  • Preparatory phase (2012-2013)
  • Startup phase (2013-2014)
  • First operational phase (2014-2018)


O-LiFE aims to promote short and long-term development for the Mediterranean Basin based on a multidisciplinary, multiscale and collaborative approach bridging social and environmental sciences.  It will serve as pioneer project to build cooperation at different levels and with a wide range of stakeholders across the region including scientists, decision makers, civil society and local communities.


Priority thematic work areas

Priority will be given to themes that already have an existing corpus of data and those that have either been identified or worked on various actors within the platform.  Four priority themes have been identified as follows:

  1. Natural Resources Management (water and biodiversity)

  2. Risk Management (waste, urbanization, seismicity, pollution)

  3. Interaction between science and society and the social and environmental implications of environmental research and the sustainable development approach

  4. Training of and information to the general public and public policy makers


  1. Gain a better understand of the mechanisms governing the functioning of the critical zone of the

    Mediterranean Basin in order to enable the protection of natural resources and proper risk management.

  2. Enhance the availability and access to environmental data and research among scientists, public policy makers, and the general public in order to promote a coordinated approach towards sustainable development.

  3. Establish a permanent structure for a regional scientific platform for collaborative research and data management.


Priority tasks

To achieve its objectives, O-LiFE partners have defined six priority tasks:

  1. Build environmental databases to organize, share and enhance environmental data for the Mediterranean Basin.

  2. Conduct collaborative observation, research, response to international calls for proposals, monitoring and training activities.

  3. Establish a mechanism for sharing research facilities, equipment and instruments.

  4. Facilitate scientific dialogue and exchange among all stakeholders through innovative networking tools and web services.

  5. Mainstream O-Life mission, objectives and outputs to promote, facilitate and expand collaboration and networking among all concerned stakeholders.