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The following is a case from Sarawak (Borneo), the largest state in Malaysia, where GeoEnviron is utilized as a common system for all environmental State agencies and the municipalities in Kuching, the capital city of Sarawak.
Whether it is a City, a Region or a State, the environmental authorities have the same problem:
How to collect and manage all, but very different environmental data in a uniform and comprehensive way.
The problem grows strongly when many authorities must work together. Resistance to data sharing often becomes a political issue and disparate IT systems that cannot talk to each other is another issue.
As far back as June 1999, the State Government of Sarawak initiated the process of developing an environmental management system for the City of Kuching. The focal point of the activities is the Sustainable Urban Development (SUD) Project, which is co-financed by the Danish Co-operation on Environment and Development (DANCED).
As the project proceeded, it became quite clear that the collection of extensive amounts of data had to be stored in a comprehensive environmental database for later analysis, production of GIS maps, graphs, and reports.
Sharing data among governmental bodies is not a common issue but in case of Sarawak all state agencies within the environmental working field have overcome the normal resistance and under the lead of National Resources and Environmental Board (NREB), 15 agencies contributes to data collection and data sharing.
Data from the baseline study together with data collected by different agencies has been entered into GeoEnviron, which enables the authorities to retrieve annual reports on the overall river quality and detailed reports for specific areas. Sections of the rivers have been classified according to predefined goals and sampling stations has been registered for future monitoring.
Benefits of GeoEnviron in Sarawak
Using a solid database and a single system covering all aspects of environmental issues where all agencies and municipalities share data the UEMS project for Kuching has survived long after the donor money has stopped. Local case officers perform the maintenance of data and a reasonably small maintenance fee for program updates saves money in the administrative system.
As GeoEnviron is not developed for a single project, but as a widely used system with many customers throughout the world, the system is constantly moving towards better facilities for supporting the customers.
“Being developed by a professional software house with the environment as its main target, the users can be confident when new facilities are introduced.
GeoEnviron is a modular system where new modules can be developed easily by use of a toolbox equipped with already proof tested objects”.
Statements produced by NREB and Eco-Ideal Consulting Sdn. Bhd. (Distributor of GeoEnviron in Malaysia).
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