Conservation Session

To be held on 12 November 2015


Hosted by Esri South Africa, the inaugural Esri Africa User Conference will bring the world's geospatial leaders to Cape Town. Esri president Jack Dangermond will give a Keynote Address, and experts from Esri will share the latest uses of GIS technology.
A special focused session relating to sustainability of the environment, conservation and food security is being arranged. The aim is to draw attention to Open Data and combined efforts between various organizations not only making data and information available but also to share best practices which hold benefits for the African continent.
As part of an ArcGIS Online subscription, ArcGIS Open Data can be used to share live authoritative open data. Esri-hosted ArcGIS Open Data offers a quick way to set up public-facing websites where people can easily find and download open data in a variety of formats. At last count Open Data is offering 29,162 Open Datasets from 2,309 Organizations worldwide
Never has the sustainability of the planet been more topical and relevant than now, in this time when we are faced with challenges relating to food security, land use optimization, conservation, and climate change. Information needs to be offered to decision makers, succinctly, precisely and timeously. Access to data, and especially the drive toward open data is an integral and important part of this process. More significantly though, with the time saving offered by these tools and systems, users of these data can tap into creative and innovative problem solving and analyses to reflect and advocate with visual results. Come and see how practitioners in their respective fields are leveraging these tools for informed decision making.
A keynote address will be offered by Prof Willem van Riet who for 40 years has made use of GIS in landscape conservation and land use planning. He will speak of his experiences in making use of best available datasets in proposing and securing conservation as an economic and viable land use option. Other talks on the day will share ideas of platform and systems’ architecture, which offer mutual benefits, whilst maintaining custodianship and sovereignty. This too greatly reduces duplication of effort and redundancy whilst ensuring focused efforts are intelligently utilised.
The speakers will also discuss data challenges we are faced with on the African continent, these include limited access to data, the data quality, erroneous data and potential technological bottle necks which exist. This event encourages discussions to strategize how Africa might use global lessons learnt, and best practices offered, to ensure that spatial users on the African continent are planning and working toward common standards, open data and collaborative systems to alleviate these potential challenges and obstacles in the future.
The motions put in play by these discussions and strategies relating to shared systems and standards, irrespective of software platforms being used, will allow for the retention of vital environmental and conservation knowledge for decision support and future generations.
We hope you will join us in Cape Town.

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