Recent geospatial mapping approaches have been useful in generating community-level information, capturing perspectives from different groups, revealing complexities of resource use issues, and empowering community members in environmental decision making. However, there are many limitations to these approaches which present barriers for integrated cross-level information sharing e.g. static representations of landscape and livelihood systems which can miss out on the dynamic nature of vulnerabilities and underlying ecosystems, information that is often recorded in a format which is difficult to share and utilise in different contexts, and community-collated information which lacks full integration with other knowledge systems.
Consequently, although these approaches provide effective data collection tools, there is scope for improvement to account for the complexities of landscape utilisation and management. And through our previous research we know that South Pacific institutions highly value geospatial information for decision-making, yet they state that [accessible] geospatial information is limited, particularly with regard to usability of remotely sensed spatial data.
Our project will build on the existing strengths of participatory mapping approaches and the critique of current geospatial information tools to develop a collaborative geospatial platform that addresses the above mentioned limitations: moving beyond static maps to generating depictions of climate-landscape-livelihood linkages that harness traditional knowledge and current adaptive strategies to reveal system vulnerabilities.
Collation of rich geospatial information documented through participatory action research will be supplemented with processed secondary land use/land cover and climate data. This will allow for holistic well-evidenced landscape management information.