The portal was demonstrated on April 4 at a national stakeholder meeting, attended by 10 agencies including Statistics Office (CISO), Ministry of Marine Resources (MMR) and Office of the Prime Minister (OPM). The portal is co-managed by SPREP’s Inform project.
The portal addresses the need to have high quality data stored in a centralised location so data can be quickly accessed and used for informed decision making and reporting. During the April 3-6 meeting, NES also introduced a national reporting tool, developed under the Inform project, which tracks the status of environmental indicators.
Having a tool that compiles information on these indicators can contribute to content for future State of Environment (SoE) reports, as well as information for multi-lateral environmental agreements such as the CBD Aichi Targets, Sustainable Development Goals, the Samoa Pathway, and National Sustainable Development Plans. The Cook Islands’ latest SoE Report has been prepared and is awaiting endorsement.
“The ability for the Cook Islands to be able to store, retrieve and utilize data is one of the key facets of national planning and should put the Cook Islands on a better path towards the decisions it makes for the environment”, said the director of the Cook Islands National Environment Service, Joseph Brider.
The Global Environment Facility funds the Inform project, and the European Union-funded ACP MEA 2 Project supports the development of SoE Reports and National Environmental Management Strategies. The projects, implemented through UN Environment and carried out by SPREP, complement each other by taking linked approaches to key activities, including the integration of information from the Cook’s SoE into the Cook Islands data portal.
To properly manage the portal and indicator reporting tool, the Inform project is providing IT assistance and collaborating with Cook Islands government ICT team to ensure the tools run smoothly and are adapted to country needs.
“During the meeting we conducted real-time speed tests and determined that the proposed solution of cloud hosting was viable for the portal, even after taking into account of limited bandwidth,” said SPREP Systems Developer and Analyst, Ainsof So’o.
“Talks with government IT show the system fits into the existing data infrastructure as well.”
The four-year Inform project is establishing national data portals in the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. A regional portal will be created for the 14 project partner countries to access and share environmental data.
To learn more about the Inform project, visit http://www.sprep.org/inform/home
To learn more about the ACP MEA project, please visit: http://www.sprep.org/Projects/acp-meas-project.