East Africa: Protected area data management online resource launched for users

The Biodiversity and Protected Areas (BIOPAMA,  http://www.biopama.org) programme recently convened a Technical Training Workshop at the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) in Nairobi, Kenya from 21-22 July 2015. The aim of the workshop was to introduce the program and present the EAC Regional Reference Information System (RRIS) to participants from the EAC Partner States with the purpose of obtaining feedback on how to improve the features, functionality and content to meet the needs of the region; to develop a schema for a refined workflow or decision support tool to easily access the required data and information; to identify obstacles to data sharing and opportunities and to promote data sharing and finally to define the workflow for submitting data for inclusion into the RRIS.

The EAC RRIS displays maps and supporting information about biodiversity values, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, species and habitats, pressures and threats, and management and governance and was developed by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC) within the framework of the BIOPAMA Programme.

The workshop was attended by 30 participants drawn from natural resources, environment, science and technology to mining, energy, agriculture, forestry and museum sectors from Partner States. In addition to the hands-on experience with the EAC RRIS, participants discussed the process of using data to guide decision
making with the aim of modelling these workflows in the RRIS to ensure the technology and data support decision making and policy development. Participants also provided in-depth input on the best approach to promote the free and open exchange of data the region. A draft “Open Access Statement” was accepted as a declaration to promote free and open access to data and a draft Data Sharing Framework which will give effect to the Open Access Statement was discussed.

The EAC RRIS supports the Regional Observatory for Protected Areas whose framework was finalized recently between IUCN and the East African Community. The EAC Observatory is hosted by the East African Community Secretariat in Arusha, Tanzania.

Kenya: MaMaSe partners trained in processing and sharing of GIS data

From 3 to 7 August, 26 participants from the Water Resources Management Authority, SNV, WWF, Mara Farming and Egerton University followed an intensive 5 day training on the processing of spatial data using open source software such as QGIS and GDAL. Dr. Hans van der Kwast, senior lecturer in ecohydrological modeling at UNESCO-IHE, guided the practical hands-on sessions on converting raw input data (e.g. GPS data, spreadsheets or scanned hardcopy maps) into GIS formats, geoprocessing and map design.

The participants were also introduced to the use of the MaMaSe GeoNode (http://maps.mamase.org/), a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) portal for up-and downloading data/documents, making online maps and integration with QGIS. This allows project partners and other stakeholders to share their information on the MaMaSe GeoNode which is part of the knowledge exchange centre developed in the project. At the end of the training the participants acknowledged that with the acquired skills they are able to improve the data processing chain in their day-to-day work and learned how SDIs can be used to share data. During the 5 training days, the amount of data layers in the MaMase GeoNode had increased from 13 to 135, thanks to the efforts of the participants.

Somalia: Water Sources Live Map

Apart from the people living along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers, the Somali population depends on groundwater for domestic water supply, livestock and small scale irrigation. The main groundwater sources of Somalia are boreholes, shallow wells and springs.

The development of new groundwater resources in Somalia is fraught with challenges, key among them being poor water quality. The majority of groundwater sources in the country have salinity levels above 2,000μS/cm, which is over the required standard for drinking water. Many of the shallow wells are also unprotected from the elements, making them vulnerable to microbiological and other contamination.

SWALIM, the Somalia Water and Land Information Management project, has been working closely with the Somali Government Water Authorities and the United Nations’ WASH Cluster (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) in developing systems for monitoring water sources in Somalia. In 2006, the Somalia Water Sources Information Management System (SWIMS) was developed for the management of water sources data. After 8 years of use and extensive feedback from partners, in 2014 SWIMS was rebuilt from the ground up into a dynamic, graphical online system, the Water Sources Live Map. http://systems.faoso.net/imms/fmt/maps/website/227

The Somalia Water Sources Data Live Map (SWIMS-Livemap) is a web application that has features for both data management and data visualization through the internet. Agencies that manage water information can now use the live map to collect, update, and disseminate water sources data while other information users will be able to use the live map to visualize the data as well as “export” it for a variety of uses outside the live map. The live map has dramatically improved how water source information is managed in Somalia, where point water sources are the primary source of water. Through the live map, water sources information is accessible from any location, as long as there is internet connectivity. The published data is available to all users in UN agencies, NGOs and private sector users.

Volta Basin: Assessment of current state of water management

Assessment of current state of water management and climate change in the Volta Basin as part of the Establishment of an Observatory for water Resources and Related Ecosystems.

To ensure that data and information are readily available for the development and management of the basin, the Volta Basin Authority (VBA, http://www.abv-volta.org:10000/abv2/) is in the process of establishing an Observatory for Water Resources and Related Ecosystems. As part of the activities, MoUs have been developed between VBA and the Ministries in charge of water in the six Volta basin Member States. In each country an Addendum to the MoU with the Ministry specifies hydrological data exchange protocols. However, protocols for technical data exchange between the Observatory and other institutions in relation to other themes such as Agricultural Water, Water-related disease and Cartography have not been developed. There is the need to develop these protocols to enhance VBA’s monitoring role. The Observatory also needs to strengthen it links with other relevant initiatives such as those of WASCAL and AGRHYMET through MoUs, joint activities and training.

The Volta HYCOS Project (now integrated into the VBA Observatory), will give momentum to activities on operational hydrology and integrate them further into socioeconomic activities and joint development projects of the basin countries. In a long-term perspective, the HYCOS/Observatory will constitute an important source of reliable data for forecasts of future water resource scenarios including regional climate change impact

West Africa: Implementing WASCAL Data Management Infrastructure (WADI) for data on climate change and adapted land use

WASCAL (West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use, http://www.wascal.org/) is a research-focused program designed to help tackle the climate change challenge by pooling the expertise of ten West African countries and Germany. Within WASCAL, a large number of hydrological, meteorological, remote sensing, biodiversity and socioeconomic data are collected from research activities,
observation networks and the WASCAL Competence Center in Ouagadougou, Burkina-Faso. We describe the steps required to setup and implement the WASCAL Data Management Infrastructure (WADI) to import, manage, exchange and publish the different data sets collected within WASCAL. Contact: Dr. Paul Schultze-Motel, Helmholtz Open Science Coordination Office.

Nigeria: Data Access Intervention Initiative

The Data Access Intervention Initiative (DAII) is a program developed by the Institute of Information Management (IIM) aimed at promoting access to information for effective service delivery in the society. Individuals and organisations should have access to information as at when needed, as effective data access will enable researchers, policymakers, technology developers and the public access to information, use and share knowledge for informed decisions.

The initiative is developed to assist in identifying and perusing into the information needs of various sectors of the society, including developing solutions aimed at meeting those needs. With DAII, individuals and organisations will be able to access reliable and accurate information to meet their information need. DAII is ultimately expected to facilitate an industry movement to connect citizens to various services like healthcare, education, real estate etc.

Burkina Faso: Establishing a new computerised mining cadastre and registry system

GAF AG has been awarded a contract to support the Ministry of Mines and Energy (http://www.mines.gov.bf/) in Ouagadougou in establishing a new computerised mining cadastre and registry system in Burkina Faso. The overall project objective is to improve governance in the mining sector by establishing a modern, web-based system for granting and managing mineral rights. The efficient, transparent, and reliable administration of such titles is considered to be a key factor in increasing growth and investment in the mining sector in Burkina Faso.

In practical terms, the project aims to:

  • Assisting to modernize and streamline the existing legal paper cadastre system
  • Create an up-to-date and consistent database of mineral rights that allows the efficient and unambiguous management of these during their entire life cycle
  • Identify and clarify existing conflicts and prevent such conflicts in future
  • Introduce a harmonised administrative, procedural and technical framework compliant with the law and applicable regulations
  • Implement an operational and modern computerised mining title management system, that caters for governance and industry needs in Burkina Faso.

The rollout of the eMC+ cadastre solution will increase the institutional capacity and efficiency of the ministry by
providing a comprehensive mineral tenure management. The contract has a duration of 15 months and is embedded in the “Projet d’appui au développement du secteur minier (PADSEM)”, being funded by the World Bank (IDA).

Source: http://earsc.org/news/gaf-to-implement-its-emc-electronic-mining-cadastre-framework-in-burkina-faso