[www.inewsguyana.com] – The National Policy on Geographic Information provides the necessary framework for identifying key datasets needed for socio-economic development, and specifies the mechanism for data collection, storage and dissemination.
During a public consultation on the drafting of this policy on Wednesday October 2, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Robert Persaud underscored the importance of Geographic Information Systems (GSI) – a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present all types of geographical data – while identifying a number of governmental and non-governmental organization locally that already make use of same.
Persaud said its use and importance have been recognize at the political, governmental and policy levels and as such it has been determined that these systems are crucial in order to manage development and assess challenges in a smart and holistic way.
“We must move very quickly to develop a policy that reaches the satisfaction of all stakeholders… government have already invested a lot in technology,” he said.
“If we don’t implement this policy we will be doing our country an injustice… there are tremendous benefits,” Minister Persaud told the gathering, adding that “already we have completed the National Land use Plan and will soon implement the Lease Administrative Systems”.
He pointed to the importance of such systems in decision making. Meanwhile delivering the feature address, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Professor Jacob Opadeyi, pointed to the importance of GIS in the implementation of the policy.
He said of great significance is to find persons with the passion to do the job. “Software and hardware is easy to purchase but to find that a person that is committed and passionate is a real task”.
While emphasizing the importance of data in the processed he stressed the need for a good policy to manage such data.
“In order to effectively and efficiently manage the consequences of climate variability, we need historic, current and accurate data of our natural and physical assets supported by a national GIS policy, without which our adaptation actions will be vague and of little impact,” Dr Opadeyi said.
He also outlined the consistent political support that is needed in this regard and pointed to the obligation to protect all data.
Minister Persaud signaled his intent to nominate Professor Jacob Opadeyi to chair the committee that will be set up to deal with the policy.
Four desktop computers were also presented to the University, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry. By Kurt Campbell