The Government of Canada has announced $674,911 in funding for a variety of projects in B.C. that rely on location-based, or geospatial, information. The announcement was made by the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources (NRCan), during a luncheon address at the Powell River Chamber of Commerce.
The nine projects, totalling $2.1 million, are supported through GeoConnections, a national partnership program led by NRCan.
“Resource managers, researchers and other users will be able to quickly and easily find and share maps, satellite images and other information,” said Mr. Lunn. “New capabilities and technologies resulting from this Government of Canada funding will greatly enhance land-use planning and resource management in B.C.”
Among the different projects, the McGregor Model Forest in Prince George, managed in partnership with the University of British Columbia, has received $27,000 to improve online access to forestry data and other land-use planning information. This project will initially focus on forests in the interior of B.C. to support decision making by community leaders to address the socio-economic impacts of the mountain pine beetle infestation.
GeoConnections has also provided $145,000 to Environment Canada for a project that will see the creation of a multi-agency partnership and the development of a Web portal to share information pertaining to the Okanagan River Basin. This project will improve access to comprehensive monitoring and research results that can be used to support a sustainable future for the watershed.
In addition, GeoConnections has provided $60,000 to support species at risk by enabling access to aggregated data on the Internet for more than 5,000 aquatic plant and animal species. This project involves NatureServe Canada and its partners.
All of the B.C. projects support the planning and management of forests, water and wildlife in the province by improving access to relevant geospatial information online, regardless of where and in what database the information is housed and what organization collected it.
The GeoConnections program collaborates with a range of public and private sector organizations to expand and enhance the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI), an online resource that enables decision makers to access, combine and share geospatial information over the Internet and gain new insights into social, environmental and economic issues. The CGDI can be used to better manage Canada’s natural resources and environment, improve public safety and public health, and address matters of importance to Aboriginal people.
Additional information about GeoConnections and the CGDI is available at www.geoconnections.org