Nature-GIS is a network bringing together the different stakeholders in protected areas: users and experts in IT and in nature conservation. The objectives of the network are:
- to offer a contribution to improve information for EU policy making and evaluation, particularly for improving reporting related to the implementation of the EU Nature Protection and Biodiversity policy area.
- to offer as well a contribution to raise awareness regarding the use of GI-GIS in this field. The proposal should be seen in the larger frame of its contribution to the different European documents and conventions that require research, identification and exchange of information to ease and promote conservation of biodiversity.
- as per the VI Environmental Action Plan, to contribute to develop and broaden the dialogue among all levels of responsibility, from the EU to the local level, i.e. will support public access to data and information, in the EU and in the new Accession countries.
Very operationally, Nature-GIS could become a focal point to identify specific GI-GIS requirements for “Nature Conservation & Biodiversity” in the European Policies.
The network is developed in the following activities. In the first phase there is the assessment of user needs, to characterise the stakeholders in the field, and to make a survey of the scenarios for use of GI in this domain data requirements, to individuate and specify the common kernel of GI content to describe protected areas functional requirements, to identify the functional requirements for the management of Geo-Information and to define the framework for spatial databases for protected areas.
The results of this assessment will allow:
- to define and realise a web access to information on European protected areas.
- to produce Technical Guidelines for data infrastructures for protected areas, as an integration of the previous workpackages in order to contribute to geo-data access and exchange through standardisation of data infrastructures for protected areas.
Finally the project will have a strong content of dissemination of results towards the GIS and Nature Preservation communities at European level.
The networking and dissemination will be carried out at national and at a European level in such a way to involve in a pan-European network for protected areas, the stakeholders of protected areas, targeting a permanent “Nature-GIS Group”.
The expected results of the network are:
- Use of the Guidelines to implement GIS in protected areas
- Demonstration of how web access to information is applicable in the field
- European awareness for a supra-national approach in GI management in the field and a push for more concerted / integrated actions.
- The establishment of a truly pan-European “Nature-GIS Group”, able to live also after the project end