Client: Ron Avery , Department of Environment and Climate Change and Water (DECCW)
Historically, NSW government and organisations have been unable to effectively report on the status of native vegetation across NSW. Fundamental data was held in disparate formats and locations and not able to be discovered by other people. To address this situation, the Department of Environment and Climate Change and Water (DECCW) is leading the establishment of a NSW Vegetation Information System (VIS).The VIS will be the single, central authoritative repository for all critical native vegetation data and deliver information to all levels of government and the community. In 2007, Spatial Vision was contracted to investigate and document the User Requirements and the Implementation Master Plan for VIS.
Given the complexity of the tasks, DECCW approached the creation of VIS in two successive stages. Stage 1, now complete, aimed to collate existing vegetation data and build a series of authoritative standalone databases and to define state-wide data collection standards. Completion of this stage has realized several major achievements, most notably, the collation of a large volume of disparate data including cataloguing and providing access to 250 vegetation maps that represent an estimated $10 million of data.
In 2009, Spatial Vision was engaged by DECCW to review the outcomes of Stage 1 against the original objectives and update the VIS Implementation Plan to take into account the current project status and priorities.
To undertake the project, Spatial Vision consulted a broad range of potential users of the VIS to assess the effectiveness of Stage 1 and to shape priorities for going forward. The consultancy delivered a revised VIS Implementation Master Plan for 2009-2013, setting out the objectives and tasks to continue development of VIS to meet policy and reporting obligations.
The development of the NSW Vegetation Information System represents a long-term solution to address many deficiencies in vegetation information used to support existing natural resource management decisions and planning. Climate change and the resulting impact on biodiversity, coastal communities and frequency of wildfire will only increase the need for access to reliable and authoritative vegetation information to support critical decisions.
Ron Avery, Head of DECCW’s GIS Program Unit, said that Spatial Vision has assisted DECCW to develop a clear and strategic plan for the development and implementation of NSW Vegetation Information System.For further information about the NSW VIS, refer to http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/.
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