Delivering policy relevant information to government for environmental and resource management

The construction of geographic information systems is expensive and, within some government departments, is being criticised by administrators responsible for policy development. Too often we are told that the return on investment has been insufficient. At the state and national level, resource and environmental policy advisers seek quick responses to strategic questions. Their need is information that enhances their perception of the situation before them, enables them to make better predictions and, hence, more informed policy choices. Whilst accuracy is preferred, there is considerable room for trade-off between precision and timeliness of response. Systems that can quickly integrate economic, ecological and social considerations across space and through time are needed. They could drive the integration of economics and ecology. GIS-based resource accounting is a real possibility. Policy analysts tell us that GIS are data and technology driven. That there is insufficient focus on policy outcomes. When asked the question: "What have you got from your GIS." Too often the answer is "Nothing." Can they see the branches in the trees not the forest? Or is it our problem? More formally, the challenges in building policy driven geographic information systems are immense. Trade-offs between precision, relevance and timely progress are necessary. In association with NSW CalM, CSIRO has been developing a "Statewide Resource Information and Accounting System" with the acronym SRIAS. In doing this we have learnt a great deal about the needs of administrators, their desire for information and their fear of it. In the paper we share some insights and offer some suggestions.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 25-31

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01435079
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • ISBN: 0646212346
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 24 2012 6:47PM