West Coast

Habitat protection, community support

A local government and project network is evaluating the open.landscape.network for community engagement, environmental monitoring and emergency response. The aim is to better coordinate efforts, reduce risks and support integrated landscape outcomes.

Roles

  • Landscape
  • Business
  • Farm
  • Scientist

After struggling to implement our own solution, the Landscape Network will make new opportunities feasible in our community. We are excited about the impact of the system, and ways it helps connect us to other projects.

- Project manager

Challenge

For thousands of years, the west coast of North America (known as Illahee Chuk, or 'where land meets water' in local Indigenous language) was home to native communities living in regions of high biodiversity and environmental wealth. However, many of these systems are being degraded in their ecological integrity - reducing the supply of 'natures benefits to people,' also known as 'natural capital' and 'ecosystem services'.

As environmental changes shift the costs, risks and opportunities facing communities, there is a need for cohesive IT solutions. Many community groups - citizens, businesses and natural area project managers - already try to collaborate with each other via digital platforms. However, these media have low alignment with needs, or even increase polarization and controversy. Such challenges cause unnecessary barriers. From local to regional, national to global scales, there is awareness of a need for innovation.

Local entrepreneurs and environmental projects understand the need/potential for more resilient and productive systems that are supported by landscape-wide cooperation and long-term development. In order to enable these opportunities, there is need for integrated functionality to inform constructive dialogue, and to ensure a 'safe space' for participatory engagement in decision-making.

Solution

By combining information across various environmental, social and economic factors on the landscapes in a modular approach that curate access for stakeholders, use of the OLN will give members of this project easier access to tools and services they need to cooperate and realize ambitions. Such infrastructure is expected to provide a much-needed unified 'core' for community decision-makers and their stakeholders to engage in productive and informed discussion.

Even in the pilot stage, a new level of involvement has been observed, with increased community ambition and confidence in shared goals. Examples of needs communicated by project stakeholders include cooperative flood control, reduction of landslide risk, and air quality/fire management.

Once deployed, stakeholders will gain access to relevant, timely information, with a system specifically designed to support impact and scaling-up of their operations, supporting planned investments that allow a larger work area + number of participants.

Results

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