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ICT Success Stories

Main WSIS site |  UN Millennium Development Goals | Visions of the Information Society |

 

 

ICTs FOR SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT


These stories demonstrate how ICTs play a major role in helping societies throughout the world learn how to manage effectively their available natural resources. From fighting desertification and ensuring the preservation of biodiversity, to providing farmers in rural Africa with daily crop prices, ICTs, and especially the internet, are a major means of sharing information among scientists, civil society, governments, business and citizens.

ICT stories from the field


 Global Fire Monitoring Centre (GFMC)


Success Strategy:
The Centre is managed by the Joint FAO/UNECE/ILO Committee on Forest Technology, Management and Training and its Team of Specialists on Forest Fire. The Centre is established to disseminate core outputs of the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) in the field of forest fires as well as the periodic online collection and publication of fire statistics of the member states, and online publication of the ECE/FAO Team of Specialists on Forest Fire.

The fire statistics are collected and evaluated by the UN-ECE Trade Division, Timber Section, Geneva. The statistics include all Western and Eastern European countries, countries of the former Soviet Union, the U.S.A. and Canada. The last data set covers the period 1995-97 and will be further up-dated. The statistics can be obtained via: http://www.unece.org/trade/timber/ff-stats.html

Partners: UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission of Europe), FAO and ILO

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity


 Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System for Asia (Asia FIVIMS)

Success Strategy: The Asia FIVIMS Project has been developed in support of the Global Key Indicators Data System (KIDS) and the National FIVIMSs in Asia. It stirs and coordinates efforts to identify the most food insecure and vulnerable populations at sub-national level so that the countries can take appropriate actions and formulate targeted policies and programmes to improve the food security and nutritional status of affected population and livelihood groups.

The programme focuses primarily on capacity building of national FIVIMS units and is aimed to operationalize FIVIMS in the context of national development and poverty alleviation strategies by providing support to building technical capacity in specific fields, including vulnerability assessments. It also helps build web-based dynamic data management, dissemination and mapping systems in the countries concerned. Dynamic mapping modules for Regional, Philippine and Thai FIVIMS applications, are currently available.

Partners: FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity


 Logging Off - Malaysia

Success Strategy: In the 20 years between 1960 and 1980 alone, Asia lost almost a third of its tropical forest cover, the highest rate of forest conversion in the world. This loss of habitat poses a threat not only to species survival but also to the existence of indigenous communities and their way of life.

The Uma Bawang Residents' Association (UBRA) is an inspirational effort by one indigenous community to overcome the problems of resource destruction in the forests and cultural erosion in today's society. The struggle of UBRA is a continuing one. This example of innovative, community-based action illustrates an approach, which offers hope for the future of other communities facing the same, all too common problems.

With the help of The Borneo Project, the Uma Bawang Residents' Association (UBRA) turned to using participatory tools, such as mapping and modelling to represent land and the associated resources. This reinforced bottom-up development and collective decision-making. Mapping is a powerful means to bridge language, education, cultural, institutional and legal barriers.

 The aim is to help indigenous people communicate their traditional rights to land to government authorities through their spatial knowledge of the landscapes and ecosystems they inhabit. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can then be used to turn these maps into computer format. This computer-based system enables people to capture, record, store and analyze data. It can be used to create land maps and helps decision makers to manage natural resources over a large area such as a watershed. The villagers learnt survey and mapping techniques, which has since been used to legally defend the community's borders in court, ensuring a land base on which they can subsist without destroying the forest.

This small-scale initiative to save forest land has been successful in establishing and defending customary land rights to prevent logging, especially through mapping traditional land boundaries, and in providing leadership for other communities in Sarawak to do the same. Today, several of Sarawak's best cartographers are from Keluan. Thanks to the work of Sahabat Alam Malaysia and other community development organizations, in recent years the example of UBRA has spread to other communities. It has helped communities improve income through developing over a dozen different projects, and community based mapping has now spread to dozens of villages and resulted in significant legal victories across Sarawak.

Partners: The Uma Bawang Residents' Association (UBRA), The Borneo Project, Sahabat Alam Malaysia

Source: The Equator Initiative (UNDP) website


 Hanoi Land Information Management

Success Strategy: The partners together have implemented a land information system (LIS) and a parallel training program in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Hanoi, in order to improve the city's land management and urban planning practices. This geomatic system in Hanoi has it provided transparent access for citizens, achieved a high level of district integration, and also simplified GIS, thanks to the J-Map software which is a web-based GIS solution.

Target group:Citizens of Hanoi, public administrations

Partners: Canadian International Development Agency – CIDA, the University of Montreal, the City of Montreal and the City of Hanoi

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database


 Enhancing Capacity for Carbon Sequest - China

Success Strategy:This project’s aim is to transfer to Chinese institutions, Canadian technology and knowledge in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing applications for carbon cycle modelling.

Partners: Canadian International Development Agency - CIDA

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database


 MekongInfo - Information System for Natural Resources Management

Success Strategy : MekongInfo is a platform for sharing of information and experiences in Natural Resources Management in the Mekong River Basin. MekongInfo aims at providing access to information about participatory natural resource management in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. The platform is intended to contribute to the empowerment and the support of actors working in the region to share their experiences and joint efforts in further research and practices. Thus MekomgInfo facilitates the emergence of regional & sector knowledge networks and communities of practice.

MekongInfo is operated in cooperation with the Mekong River Commission (MRC), which develops rules for water sharing, monitors the quality of water resources, and supports a joint planning process called the Basin Development Plan. MRC is also involved in fisheries management, promotion of safe navigation, agricultural development, flood mitigation, and hydropower planning within an overall framework of renewable resources management.

In addition to over 2,500 documents (full-text and abstract) in the Library, Reference and Case Studies MekongInfo provides a Contacts database of individuals, projects and organisations, news and announcements of events, relevant web links, a gallery of useful resource materials, a forum for online discussions, and a free web hosting service.

MekongInfo was developed by the Sustainable Management of Resources in the Lower Mekong Basin Project (SMRP), and is currently being operated by the Watershed Management Project (WSMP), both co-operation projects between MRC and GTZ.

Partners: Mekong River Commission (MRC), GTZ - Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (Germany),

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity


 Environmental Information Circulation and Monitoring System on the internet

Success Strategy: The ITU participates, in association with UNITAR and the Observatory for the Sahel and the Sahara (OSS), in the Programme for an Information System on Desertification (ISD) – Environmental Information Circulation and Monitoring System on the internet (EISI) in Africa.

The programme aims at developing information heritage relating to the environment, improving access to and exchange of environmental information, creating synergies and coordinating environmental operators.

The first phase already implemented has permitted to organize sub-regional training seminars and implement pilot projects in seven African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Morocco, Uganda, Senegal, Tunisia) and three regions (West Africa, North Africa and East Africa).

The project is now in its second phase of implementation. Efforts are focused on extending the field of application of the Environmental Information Circulation and Monitoring System on the internet to the whole African continent, in order to respond to the numerous request of African countries and sub-regions wishing to equip themselves with capabilities to build their own ISD-EISI.

Partners: ITU (International Telecommunication Union, UNITAR and the Observatory for the Sahel and the Sahara (OSS)

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity


 e-waste - Knowledge Partnerships with Developing and Transition Countries in e-Waste Recycling

Success Strategy: The rapid pace of technological change in the field of electronics has made appliances for homes and office equipment both affordable and widely used. The extreme rates of obsolesce result in increasing quantities of electronics being added to the waste stream. This electronic waste or e-waste includes computers, entertainment electronics, telecommunication equipment etc. that are discarded.

The large quantities of e-waste being generated have spawned a new industry: e-waste recycling. E-waste recycling is lucrative business because electronics consist of valuable materials such as gold, copper but also plastic, glass, etc. Loopholes in law and enforcement are utilised by all parties, the importers, traders and recyclers. Compounding the problem are increasing and mostly illegal e-waste imports from industrialised countries.

Many OECD countries have implemented or are in the process on implementing regulations and guidelines for the collection and recycling of e-waste in their countries. In the backdrop of the Basel Convention, these member states have developed state-of-the-art technologies and processes that substantially reduce the risks involved in the treatment of e-waste. Switzerland is the first country to have introduced a system to deal with e-waste - in 1994.

Even without government intervention, operational recycling structures exist wherever recycling is profitable, hence mainly in regions where very low incomes are abundant or where harm can easily be "externalised". In some form electronic waste (e-waste) is recycled in all densely populated regions of developing and countries in transition. Therefore a project does not have to transfer an entire recycling system; instead it can often identify one that may not be immediately evident.

Recycling is mainly an informal business and produces, besides profit, alarmingly serious damage to health and the environment. The goal of the e-waste project is to reduce these hazards without reducing the attractiveness of the e-waste recycling business. The ultimate aim of the project is the improvement of living conditions for local residents based on better managed e-waste streams, resource protection, reduced health risks and an improved economic situation.

e-waste project intervenes along a few different action lines. The mission statement of cleaner production is applied, stating, "...improvements are only tackled when added value is increased and harm is reduced at the same time." If non-profitable interventions are deemed necessary, transfer payments such as those made in the SWICO system can be introduced. The project is producing a knowledge base on e-waste recycling in developing and transition countries published in the form of an e-waste guide as an interactive Website. Furthermore, the project is producing feasibility reports on improvements in sustainable e-waste recycling schemes in three pre-selected regions in order to select one region for detailed planning and implementation of an improved e-waste recycling system and to validate the guide and underpin it with concrete examples.

Partners: Switzerland - SECO (State Secretariat for Economic Affairs)

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity


 Support Mine Action - Mozambique

Success Strategy:The goal of the project is to support and strengthen demining action in Mozambique. CIDA provided equipment (e.g. computers, plotters, and technical advisors) to the Database Unit of the Institute for National Demining (IND) and the Accelerated Demining Program (ADO), and ensured the proper installation of a global landmine information management system, which is used world-wide to track the location of landmines in landmine-affected countries. CIDA also supported the Geomatic component of the project.

Partners:Canadian International Development Agency - CIDA

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database


Regional Space Applications Programme for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific (RESAP)

Success Strategy: The objective of ESCAP is to assist member countries to address the development and enhancement of strategies and policies supporting national goals for maximizing benefits from new developments in information and communication technologies.

ESCAP promotes the use of ICT that contributes to economic and social development. Some of its activities focus on key applications identified in the Plan of Action of the first phase of WSIS and the Tokyo Declaration such as e-governance, e-business, knowledge sharing, rural ICT services, e-health, distance education, and the section also supports the activities of APCTT.

The Programme is leading a broad range of activities in space technology applications. There are two current major areas of focus.

The first special focus is on satellite communications for Connectivity, including activities promoting public-private partnerships as well as other enablement toward growing benefits from satellite communications for improved connectivity. A purpose of the programme in this field is to contribute to garantee affordable, accessible and usable products and services benefiting underserved communities in Asia and the Pacific.

A subsequent overall goal of ESCAP is to create operational space-derived information products and services for sustainable capacity building in Asia and the Pacific.

Thus, through its activities and partnerships efforts ESCAP encourages space agencies and others to move forward from prototyping and pilot projects to delivering operationally useful products and services that are affordable, accessible, and usable.

Target group:Underserved areas in Asia-Pacific, space agencies

Partners:UN ESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific)

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity


 Thailand Integrated Water Resource Management

Success Strategy: Thailand currently faces problems both from flooding and droughts, with damages from flooding averaging over a quarter billion US dollars a year. The incidences directly affect agriculture and farmers.  The development of a computerized information system on water resources and promoting the linkage of information will improve management in terms of preventive measures and problem solving after the disaster occurs. The data can also be made publicly available or further developed to raise awareness among the people.  Reducing the risks from floods and droughts directly minimizes the financial losses of the people.

Background materials: see the IT for Poverty Reduction: Sample cases from Thailand [PDF] report published by the National Electronics and Computer Technology Center 


Satellite-based Fishery Vessel Monitoring System in Mauritania

Success Strategy:Revenue from commercial fishery is the second most important foreign currency source for the national budget in Mauretania. The project aims to enable the Mauritanian authorities to manage the threatened fishery resources in the country's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in a sustainable manner. The heart of the system is a near real time satellite-based vessel monitoring system on top monitoring vessels, radar surveillance and fishery inspectors.

The implementation of such a system is accompanied by a technical assistance component designed to assist in drawing up the relevant legal and technical regulations and their implementation with the licensed local and foreign fishery industry, especially with the EU. Included in the monitored area is the sea part of the UN world heritage Parc Banque d’Arguin which provides an important breeding ground for large communities of fish, birds and marine mammals.

Partners: KfW Entwicklungsbank, Germany

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the entity


 UN Water Virtual Learning Centre

Success Strategy: The Virtual Learning Centre was developed to focus on Integrated Water and Environmental Management. The entire course has been developed and is available on CD-ROM. It will be made available via Regional Centres of Excellence. The programme will be offered through affiliated institutions in Africa, Asia and the South Pacific, eventually expanding worldwide. Main partners include the Asian Institute of Technology and the University of the South Pacific.

The curriculum is broad and rich and the delivery platform flexible and user-friendly. It is composed by 10 courses, aided by a "resource databank" containing copyright-free materials, public domain images, graphics, documents and databases. Course materials were electronically transcribed and placed on the WVLC website and CD-ROMs. The learning material will be disseminated through a global electronic network of regional and national training institutions, the first components of which will be established in Africa and the South Pacific.  The regional training network will provide "train-the-trainer" courses and promote self-paced distance learning. Once in place, the core curriculum will be customized to regional needs.

UNU will offer a formal Diploma to programme graduates, the first offered in the history of UNU.  This “Diploma in Integrated Water Resources Management from the United Nations University” will be awarded for the successful completion of the full programme.

The broad goal of the United Nations “Water Virtual Learning Centre” is to enhance local, national and basin-scale capacities for sustainable water management in the developing world. The WVLC represents a concrete and strategic response to recommendations from the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which called for strengthening of integrated water management through capacity building of national officials, water managers and their institutions. 

During 2004, formal agreements for the creation of Regional Centres were signed with University of Ghana, the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand, and the University of the South Pacific in Fiji. The inaugural offering of the WVLC began in the first quarter of 2005. With the success of the first phase, a second phase is anticipated.

The WVLC has been explicitly designed for expansion and diversification. Throughout the second phase, UNU/INWEH will collaborate with existing regional training institutions, international agencies and bilateral donors supporting distance learning in the water sector, to broaden the scope and impact of the WVLC. The goals are to expand the global coverage of the WVLC, through creation of additional RTCs in Arabic, Spanish and French-speaking regions as well as  to diversify the platforms and “spin off” new WVLC course derivatives.

Target group:Practicing professionals in the water sector wishing to upgrade their knowledge of modern water management concepts and practices, non-water professionals

Partners:United Nations University (UNU), International Network on Water, Environment and Health (UNU/INWEH) and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), Division for Sustainable Development (DSD), Asian Institute of Technology and the University of the South Pacific are executing the project under the aegis of UN-Water, the inter-agency coordination mechanism of the UN.  Cooperation is also sought with other UN training initiatives and with academic and NGO networks at the global and regional levels.   Financial support is provided from the UN Development Account. 

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database, the website of the activity and background materials


 Ocean Data and Information Network for the Central Indian Ocean region (ODINCINDIO)

Success Strategy : The IOC’s International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) was established in 1961 to enhance marine research, exploitation and development by facilitating the exchange of oceanographic data and information between participating Member States and by meeting the needs of users for data and information products. The IODE system forms a worldwide service oriented network consisting of DNAs (Designated National Agencies), NODCs (National Oceanographic Da ta Centres), RNODCs (Responsible National Oceanographic Data Centres) and WDCs (World Data Centres – Oceanography). During the past 40 years, IOC Member States have established over 60 oceanographic data centres in as many countries.

This network has been able to collect, control the quality of, and archive millions of ocean observations, and makes these available to Member States. Whereas in the past IODE data centers focused mainly on physical oceanography data, the IODE Programme now gives attention to all ocean related data including physical oceanography, chemical, biological. Another major and long-term commitment of the IODE Programme is the long-term accessibility and archival of oceanographic data, meta-data and information to safeguard present and future holdings against loss or degradation.

In the field of International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE), the application of ICTs for data management and dissemination has become mainstream. The traditional model of centralized data centres at national or global scale are gradually being replaced by a decentralized network of data centres accessible and searchable over the internet. Thanks to this decentralized model scientists can participate more actively in the data management chain, and can also access data and information more easily. The model also enables a wider range of user communities to access data, data products and information. The global application of the new model and its inherent technology to oceanographic data and information management requires the continuing development and fine-tuning of new standards and applications.

IOC’s IODE Programme has, for many years provided substantial support, through its TEMA component, to narrow the “digital divide” that still exists between developing and developed countries. Though an integrated capacity building programme that combines training, equipment and operational support, Member States in developing regions will continue to be assisted in order to ensure their active participation in the global network for Oceanographic Data Centres. The IODE Programme is a service programme. Continued strengthening of cooperation with ocean research and monitoring programmes to ensure that data and information needs of these communities are met is therefore a priority.

This new strategy will in effect break through the traditional sectoralization of Ocean Services, Ocean Science and GOOS and ensure that the entire ocean research and management can benefit effectively from the extensive data and information infrastructure and know-how.

Partners:UNESCO

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity


 Fund for Sustainable Biodiversity Management - Hivos & Partners, Africa

Success Strategy : The overall aim of the Hivos/Novib Fund for Sustainable Biodiversity Management is to contribute to the sustainable management of biodiversity in primary production processes that are accessible and beneficial for small scale producers.

Nowadays, and in particular in developing countries, biological resources are under severe pressure. Decades of modernization of production in industry and the primary sector have drastically declined the quality of the natural resource base. Destruction of habitats and ecosystems and decrease in natural regenerative and buffering capacity are well known but not halted. Aware of the need to develop production processes that conserve, restore and do not negatively affect the stability and diversity of biological resources, the Fund focuses on supporting and valorizing natural environment friendly project.

The fund strategically funds and otherwise supports regional and global civil society organizations and networks that promote access to and sustainable use of biodiversity by marginalized sectors of society. It favors initiatives that combine interventions at grassroots level with an active role in international lobby and advocacy. The supported organizations strive for the increase of economic and marketing options, the acceptance of social and environmental standards and the formulation of policies and laws in support of sustainable biodiversity use. ICTs are a mean of predilection for implementing these goals.One of those projects is The Community Biodiversity Development and Conservation Programme (CBDC ) founded in 1994. The CBDC was innovative in arguing for new approach to research and technology on agro-biodiversity in order to strengthen and integrate farmers’ indigenous knowledge on plant genetic resources and biodiversity into the larger, more institutionalized forum of research in this scientific domain. A broader goal was to contribute to the wider endeavor to achieve food security through the sustainable use of ecologically balanced agricultural systems.

Partners:HIVOS, NGOs (AS-PTA, CBAN, CBDC-Nan, CET, CIED, CTDT, IMCA, RAFI, SEARICE), University Institutes (Can Tho University, NORAGRIC) and Research Institutes/ National Gene Banks (CGN, INERA).

Source: the website of the activity


 National Animal Tracing Database - Switzerland

Success Strategy: The website is a specialised in domestic animals breeding and management. In the system, births, transfers (e.g. animal sales) and the slaughtering of animals are registered. The goal of this registration is the seamless tracking of cattle. This capability can be very important in case of epidemic and in the accordant need to identify potentially infected animals.

 Various useful information about legislative issues related to animals’ health and commercial transactions is highlighted in order to facilitate the every-day interactions with governmental administration services as well as with other organizations. The website has also a news section, FAQ and miscellaneous feedback on farming related issues. Regional and national events are also promoted through the site. Up-to date users information for relevant technologies is also posted on a regular.

What makes the site particularly interesting for farmers is that it is hosting the TVD SMS Service. If you need to know the history or the address of the farm of a particular animal, you can have this information immediately 24h a day and from any location, all that you should do is to send an SMS to the service desk

The popularity of this service was constantly growing from more that 44 000 calls per year in 2002 to more that 70 000 calls in 2004.

Target group : Farmers and rural communities

Partners: Swiss Confederation, professional associations and private sector entities

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity


 Store Wars

Success Strategy: The website is being disseminating quality content on organic farming promotion. Using strong allusions with a famous movie, the creators have succeeded to tell another story, the one of the organic farm and thus attract not only attention but also sympathy and curiosity.

Although the entertaining form is very elaborate, the focus is mainly on content and several "sustainable" topics are highlighted, such as Learning the ways of the farm. Useful impact information is provided in a catchy word format. Data is available about organic farms, sustainable agriculture projects & products as well as general environmental information. Theoretic and practical highlights are given on the nature and risks and real damages of non-organic food production. The website links to a number of complementary organic farming resources. Hence the concept of raising awareness about sustainable food resources management through a simple  but particularly ingenuous motor seems to  be of relevance and outcome-intense.

Partners: Organic Trade Association and Free Range Studios

Source: the website of the activity

For more informationon organic farming and ICTs: see  the Organic pages online


 Internet-Linked Boats for Ecological Awareness - Bangladesh

Success Strategy: This innovative project was conceived in order to reduce pesticide use, improve water quality, and increase incomes in isolated river basin farming communities through distance learning programs on water health and rights provided by Mobile Internet-Educational Unit Boats (MIEUB). The overall budget of the project is estimated at US$198,000

The river-dominated areas of Bangladesh are submerged for 3-4 months every year during the monsoon season. These floods prevent the government from providing road networks, electricity, and telephone service to the 20 million people who live in these areas. In addition, these river basin communities do not have access to information about water protection, and poor water practices are rampant, such as dumping pesticides and raw sewage into the rivers. As a result, these rivers have experienced an alarming level of toxicity and a sharp decline in fish production.

By targeting the hard-to-reach river basin farming communities, the MIEUBs uniquely address the water education needs of a large but commonly neglected population. This project is the only one of its kind to literally navigate the Bangladeshi river network to deliver water information and training services to these remote areas. In addition, the internet capability allows the farmers to obtain commodity pricing information and communicate with others-a powerful advantage in selling their goods. This project expects to educate 100,000 farmers to take a more proactive approach to address water violation practices, while also helping them achieve a 50 percent increase in agricultural productivity and income and a 60 percent reduction in pesticide and fertilizer use.

Partners:Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha (SSS), Commonwealthof Learning

Awards: Finalist for the World Bank's Development Marketplace competition 2005

Source: The World Bank website


 RANET - Global

Success Strategy: RANET is an international collaboration to make weather, climate and related information more accessible to remote and resource poor populations. The program combines innovative technologies with appropriate applications and partnerships at the community level in order to ensure that the networks it creates serve the entirety of community information needs. Community ownership and partnership is the core principle of RANET's sustainability strategy.

In the framework of RANET, a range of activities are undertaken including training, pilot activities to demonstrate various community technologies, and development of a dissemination network through partnership and platform development. Its goal is to facilitate day-to-day resource decisions and help people prepare for, mitigate against, and respond to natural hazards.

RANET also works to build telecommunication bridges between scientific-based products and remote communities to foster the exchange of environment-related information. RANET is a 2-tier system. The first tier carries information necessary for meteorological services to improve their own products. Examples include satellite imagery, ocean temperature measurements, synoptic observations, and large-scale model runs. These products are taken from public domain websites. The second tier is designed to serve the communities and local populations by further distributing locally/nationally produced information, such as forecasts, bulletins, and warnings. In several cases, communities have requested additional information such as crop prices, which is then also placed on the network. In all cases RANET strives to have information produced in local languages and in a non-technical format.

The programme has been developing specific technology-based platforms. For instance, in Africa new and existing analogue (FM/AM) radio stations were integrated with new digital radio satellite technologies. RANET's strategy in this and other projects involves helping ensure the programme builds upon existing capabilities and local knowledge, is community owned and operated, and is locally relevant.

RANET also provides a web-hosting programme. In exchange for the chance to develop web skills and an online presence, national environmental services are asked to make some operational products available via RANET's digital radio broadcast. The WorldSpace Foundation (renamed First Voice International, or FVI) developed and manages the satellite system through which RANET broadcasts multimedia (data) content to all of Africa and most of Asia, and probably soon in the Pacific.

Partners: International, regional, national, and local organisations from the public, non-profit, and commercial sector, including the Australian Government with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the African Center of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD). Support has been provided by the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, the NOAA Office of Global Programs, and FVI.

 Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database, the Communication Initiative website and the website of the activity


 Open Access Journals, MDPI molecular and biomolecular diversity preservation project - Switzerland

Success Strategy: Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI) is a Swiss based non-profit organization for deposit and exchange of molecular and biomolecular samples. MDPI is also an open access publisher in chemistry since 1996. The editorial boards of MDPI journals currently include 8 Nobel Prize winners.

The diverse publishing and research activities of the journals have been going progressively online. MDPI manages the following Open Access Journals : Molecules since 1996, Molbank since 1997, Entropy since 1999, International Journal of Molecular Sciences since 2000, Sensors since 2001, Marine Drugs since 2003 and International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health since 2004.

As a part of the MDPI’s Molecular and Biomolecular Diversity Preservation Project, the website has been managing an important virtual resource on chemical samples deposit, collection and exchange services. The Chemical Museum includes today 10 655 samples.

The website has also a guest book and mailing lists for samples contributors and for samples collectors in order to value their work. The virtual forum is also used for posting news for incoming events in the field of molecular and biomolecular sciences to urge participants from researcher’s background to get involved.

Target group:Chemistry professionals, researchers

Partners:Molecular Diversity - Preservation International

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity


 New Zealand Ecological Restoration Network

Success Strategy : NZERN is a non-profit, community-driven, membership-based organisation dedicated to sharing knowledge and experiences about ecological restoration in Aoteroa-New Zealand. Most of the resources are shared via the web, but they also organise and participate in field days, seminars and restoration projects.

 NZERN is a multi purpose initiative. On the natural environment, it aims at aiding conservation, restoration and protection of NZ native plant and animal communities.  On the community level, NZERN is deploying effort to engage all interested individuals, community groups and other organisations. A predilection strategy is the creation of a shared self-help, non-partisan network in order to provide better outcome as well as contribute to a useful and equitable distribution of resources.

The website of the project  links to many useful and interesting resources in the field of environment preservation and valorization. Virtual arboreta (living collections of trees and shrubs in a parkland setting), BirdGuide (including list of bird species found in New Zealand, recording observations by locality as well as historical information about previous bird distribution), Bush Library (referring to books, magazines, articles, maps, downloads, videos, images related to this subject), Climate & Soil Directories and Land Resource Inventory: all these provide more detailed information and numerous sources of knowledge.

Several scientific & practical guides are also available: New Zealand-specific natural environment and cultural & historical heritage references, Ecosystems description and analysis, EcoTrack (a web based tool for recording observations and receiving analysis to aid more informed decision making. Will be able to record forest monitoring data, bird observations, stream health, weather, marine life, etc.). as well as a comprehensive Regional Restoration Directories.

As a democratic membership based organisation, NZERN has been open to new users and contributors. Individuals, whanau (families), farmers, community groups, schools, iwi, local and central government organisations, native plant nurseries, contractors are all welcome to join. Membership benefits include password access to "Pipi", the database driven website owned by NZERN which is gathering and providing even more rich relevant information in the field of nature preservation.

Partners: NZERN, private sector sponsors

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity


 Global e-Sustainability Initiative

Success Strategy: Though traditionally viewed as a clean sector, the information and communications technology (ICT) sector has many impacts associated with its products and services. In addition, the role its products and services can have in helping deliver sustainable development is insufficiently appreciated.

Against this background, in 2001, a number of major ICT companies, and with the support of UNEP and ITU, launched a global initiative for sustainable development. In achieving the partners’ vision we, they shall make a key contribution to a global sustainable future by enhancing social and economic development and improving the global environment.

Partners of the Global e-Sustainability Initiative acknowledge the need for the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry to take a leadership role in:

v      better understanding the impact and opportunities offered by its evolving technology in the context of a fast growing information society, and

v     providing individuals, businesses and institutions, with sustainable solutions to the challenge they face in their attempt to maintain the fragile equilibrium between economy, ecology and society.

The global goals of the initiative are

v      to create an open and global forum for improving and promoting products, services and access to ICT for the benefit of human development and a sustainable environment.

v      to stimulate international and multi-stakeholder co-operation for the ICT sector.

v      to encourage continual improvement in sustainability management and share best practice.

As the collective voice of its members, GeSI aims to influence the sustainability debate, inform the public of its members' voluntary actions to improve their sustainability performance, and prompt information and communicate technologies that foster sustainable development.

Target group:ICT companies and industries

Partners:Bell Canada, British Telecommunications plc, Deutsche Telekom AG, Ericsson, European Telecommunication Network Operators Association (ETNO), MM02, Telefonica SA, Vodafone plc, Panasonic Mobile Communications supported by ITU (International Telecommunication Union), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Division of Technology, Industry and Economics

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity


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