disastersThe rapid changes in climate over the last decades, together with the explosion of human population, have shaped the context for a fragile biosphere, prone to natural and manmade disasters that result in massive flows of environmental immigrants and great disturbances of ecosystems. Nowadays, the great disasters (e.g. the Indonesian tsunami in 2004, the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, the European Heat Wave in 2003, the Greece's wildfires in 2007, the Earthquake of Nepal) have shown great evidence for high quality Earth Observation (EO) services as it regards disaster and emergency management, and risk reduction (DRR & EMS). The EO community has initiated large scale initiatives in order to: a) generate operational EO services with direct impact in the biosphere and useful to the societies, b) stimulate wider participation of the society including local authorities, volunteers, NGOs, and after all the citizens, enabling the Openness effect and promoting the Open Innovation paradigm, and c) utilize the rapidly growing technologies associated with web, social media, mobile, Crowdsourcing and Participatory Sensing.