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National Spatial Data Infrastructure for Integrated Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (ZAN-SDI)

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Basic project information

Project Description:

The importance of geospatial information and its essential role in the sustainable development has been widely recognised and raised interest towards nation-specific infrastructures, National Spatial Data Infrastructures (NSDIs). The “Sustainable Management of Land and Environment” II (SMOLE II) project, supported by the Government of Finland in 2010-2015, started the process of establishing the Zanzibar Land Data Processing Centre and created a Zanzibar Land Information System (ZALIS) which can be considered as the first steps towards NSDI and future development of the geospatial and geoinformatics sector in Zanzibar. This Project aims at supporting the Government of Zanzibar to continue these efforts through capacity building.

The coastal and marine ecosystems and natural resources, including coral reefs, sea grasses and algae, coastal forests, mangroves and sandy beaches, form the basic foundation of the local culture and the social and economic welfare of Zanzibar. Currently, the rapid expansion of the settlements and the growth of the tourism industry are causing pressures on land and sea use changes and consequent conflicts. Such challenges call for integrated coastal and marine spatial planning and management. Large amounts of relevant, spatially explicit, accurate and accessible data on both human activities and environmental variables are needed to allow integrated coastal and marine spatial planning and management in Zanzibar.

Beach in Zanzibar
A traditional landing site for artisanal fisheries in Unguja, Zanzibar. © Markku Viitasalo

The Overall Objective (intended long-term impact) of the Project is creation and improved utilisation of geospatial information in spatial planning and management in Zanzibar. The Project Purpose (immediate objective) is improved capacity of the project partners in Zanzibar to collect and manage marine and coastal information and to use National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) effectively in integrated coastal and marine spatial planning. The Expected Results of the Project are:

  1. Increased capacity for developing and maintaining the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI)
  2. Increased capacity for ecosystem-based planning and management of coastal zones, maritime activities and the marine environment
  3. Improved geospatial capacities at the partner organisations

To achieve the first Result, for example, the components of NSDI will be jointly defined, the coordination structures enabling maintenance and development of NSDI established, the metadata system enabling storing and viewing the data description created, a communication and dissemination plan created, its implementation started, and a National Geoportal created to enable data sharing and also to demonstrate and promote the benefits of NSDI.

The activities needed for the second Result include, for example collection and production of information necessary for coastal and marine spatial planning, training in cost-effective collection of new data on human activities and pressures affecting the coastal and marine zones, validation of remote sensing data by joint field work, joint production of spatial data layers necessary for coastal and marine spatial planning, production of proposals for a marine management structure and coastal and marine spatial planning practises, production of a draft Local Area Plan (LAP) as a proposal for spatial solutions for critical planning and management issues of the pilot area. This Project will use the LAP covering the North-Eastern Growth Area of Unguja as the geographical framework for capacity building and piloting of integrated coastal and marine spatial planning and management and to demonstrate the benefits of NSDI in spatial planning and development.

The third component of the Project involves the establishment of a geospatial expert network and design of a geospatial training plan for the partner organisations and training of the selected experts with geospatial information related skills. The Department of Geography and Geology of the University of Turku has been subcontracted for the implementation of this component in collaboration with State University of Zanzibar (SUZA).


Services provided by SYKE:

Altogether fourteen experts of SYKE’s Data and Information Centre, Marine Research Centre and International Affairs Unit participate in the implementation and management of the Project in collaboration with the Zanzibar partners and experts of the National Land Survey of Finland and University of Turku.

 More Information:

Pekka J Salminen, Project Manager, International Affairs Unit, SYKE
Riitta Teiniranta, Head of Unit, Geoinformatics Services, Data and Information Centre, SYKE
Markku Viitasalo, Research Professor, Marine Spatial Planning, Marine Research Centre, SYKE

Published 2016-05-24 at 12:54, updated 2016-05-20 at 9:12