The DBAR Program was conceived to link four levels of actions:
- Design and development of an information communications technology (ICT) infrastructure to support remote discovery, access, processing, and analysis of Earth observation data in a virtual (cloud) environment;
- Research on Earth system science primarily based on Earth observation data;
- Interaction within communities of scientific and professional stakeholders;
- Dissemination of SDG-relevant outcomes.
The first level is expected to deliver a system to provide to any user in the Belt and Road region the ICT support needed to extract information from complex and rich data streams, regardless of limitations in the computational resources available to user.
The second level includes in-situ experiments, algorithm development to retrieve surface properties and modeling of earth system processes. Outstanding research questions have been clustered into DBAR Foci. The research and development activities to address the Foci will be coordinated by Working Groups and Task Forces.
The third level addresses the dissemination of information on project contents and achievements and the engagement of a diverse and potentially large stakeholder community in the Belt and Road countries which can claim ownership to the achievements.
The fourth level entails the communication of project outcomes most relevant to support the attainment of SDGs and specific targets related to SDGs at national and regional level, with particular attention to Adaptation to Climate Change.
The DBAR Foci will be addressed by a flexible system of DBAR Working Groups (WGs) and Task Forces (TFs). In the startup phase, the seven working groups (i.e., Big Earth Data, Agriculture and Food Security, Coastal Zone, Environmental Change, Natural and Cultural Heritage, Disaster Risk Reduction, and Water) and two task forces (i.e., Urban Environment, High Mountain and Cold Regions) have been established.