The Gulf of Maine Environmental Information Exchange: participation, observation, conversation
AbstractIn this paper we describe an attempt to create an inclusive and participatory information sharing network across a large geographic region, the Gulf of Maine. This network aims to contribute to the health of the region's human and natural environments through facilitating partnerships among individuals and organizations that are already working toward this goal. Initiated at a time when cooperation, public learning, and information sharing increasingly depend on digital information technologies, this effort represents a turn away from earlier attempts to create centralized data sharing systems toward a more people-centered and project-centered approach. After introducing the Gulf of Maine Environmental Information Exchange and its region, particular projects will be described, along with the on-line technologies that are being applied including those related to digital mapping. A description of the purposes of the Information Exchange follows, with details about a network organization which is being shaped based on principles that have emerged through participant interactions. Public participation GIS and the community-based fisheries management movement are presented as examples of participatory governance that have contributed to discussions within the Information Exchange. We conclude with a summary of the accomplishments of this network building process and the challenges its participants recognize at this time.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Pion Ltd, London in its journal Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design.
Volume (Year): 28 (2001)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
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Web page: http://www.pion.co.uk
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