Island-based Information Management System-GIS Data Centre as a key tool for spatial planning in the South Atlantic UK Overseas Territories
ILARIA MARENGO, Dr
SOUTH ATLANTIC ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Amelie A. Augé, Dr
Department of Conservation, Whangarei, New Zealand
Letizia Campioni, Dr
MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Center, ISPA - Instituto Universitário, Rua Jardim do Tabaco 34, 1149-041 Lisboa, Portugal.
Policy and Economic Development Unit, Falkland Islands Government, Thatcher drive, Stanley, FIQQ 1ZZ, Falkland Islands
Environmental Management Division, Saint Helena Government, Essex House, Jamestown, STHL 1ZZ, Saint Helena
Andrew J. Richardson, Dr
Conservation Department, Ascension Island Government, Georgetown, ASCN 1ZZ, Ascension Island.
Sam B. Weber, Dr
Centre for Ecology and Conservation, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK
Environmental data require fit-for-purpose data management systems and related spatial applications to be used effectively for management. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has become a key tool to analyse and visualise spatial data with their increasing volume and variety. Well-designed data centres that combine a data management system with GIS, reduce costs and improve efficiency for spatial planning processes. Small or remote territories and islands such as the South Atlantic UK Overseas Territories (SAUKOT), with limited financial resources and capacity, face many challenges to develop such centres. In 2013 an island-based Information Management System (IMS)-GIS Data Centre was established in the SAUKOT. Until then, governments did not have the ability to use spatial planning effectively to manage their environments. The IMS-GIS Data Centre has been operating as: 1) repository of high-quality reference datasets to support decision making, 2) interactive data visualisation to share maps and information with stakeholders and 3) data portals to assist data discovery and sharing. This paper describes i) how the SAUKOT have built their own IMS-GIS Data Centres ii) how these Data Centres have provided effective and manageable solutions to support terrestrial and marine spatial planning processes and iii) the challenges the Data Centres are still facing. Thanks to relatively simple data management concepts and the use of open source programs, the IMS-GIS Data Centre is transferable to other contexts sharing similar challenges to those faced by the SAUKOT.