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Title: The introduction of GIS technology in the state parks, State of São Paulo : constraints and opportunities
Author: Decanini, Mônica Modesta Santos
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1997
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The Brazilian Atlantic Forest is one of the Earth's most endangered ecosystems. It has high biodiversity and a high level of plant and animal endemism. One of the largest remnants of that forest is located in the State of Sao Paulo. Most of the significant residual fragments of the State have been designated under various categories of conservation, the largest part of the area being composed of state parks. Information is recognised as a key tool for effective management of parks and protected areas and, therefore, for conservation. GIS is an information management tool which deals with spatial and non-spatial data, and it has been adopted by park organisations in the industrialised developed countries such as Canada and USA. Such information technology demands skilled human resources and budget commitment. However, the organisational and managerial context in tropical developing countries such as Brazil, is restricted by a shortage of adequate human resources and government funds for establishment and management, lack of continuity in policy and in support for parks and protected areas. Therefore, the adoption of GIS technology for the state parks in the State of Sao Paulo is likely to be constrained. However, the Appropriate Technology approach can offer a more comprehensive and adequate framework to deal with the issues of technology choice and implementation in circumstances where they are limited. Whist recognising the benefits of GIS, the precise context and timing of any possible installations demands more careful consideration than has been offered so far, either by the State of Sao Paulo or elsewhere in Brazil. A qualitative approach based on two case studies was adopted to collect and analyse data on issues of park organisation. The research findings suggest that human resource and government funding shortages are the critical issues. Some alternatives were identified, based on principles of Appropriate Technology. A start can be made using a PC mapping system such as a simple version of AutoCAD, which is now available in the park central agency. Furthermore the three State Universities could contribute in a more systematic manner in resource data collection and training. However, the inadequate salary policy, the lack of management and information plans, and administrative discontinuity may hinder the successful implementation and use of the spatial data handling system. A strong commitment to conservation issues is essential for the better management of parks and therefore for improved data management. Future research could profitably monitor the success of using AutoCAD or any other simpler automated data handling system before any more sophisticated method of GIS is adopted.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available