SFL supports St Helena GIS Day as part of the MOVE-ON Project

Azra Gordy

On 18 November 2021, the GIS Office of St Helena Government held a public GIS Day with support from SAERI (Falklands) Ltd (SFL) as part of the MOVE-ON project. The day was lively with more than 100 attendees ranging from children from all four of the island’s primary schools to recently elected councillors of St Helena Government. All those who attended viewed a gallery of maps made by the GIS Office, learned about what Geographic Information Systems are and how they can be used to support decision-making, and were able to plot their favourite locations on the island on a map. The event finished with a link-up with GIS professionals in some of St Helena’s fellow UK overseas territories, part of a series of mutual GIS Day link-ups that had been coordinated by SFL. SAERI’s own Jack Ingledew in the Falklands, Kevern De Bellott of the Turks and Caicos Government Department of Disaster Management & Emergencies, and Lavern Rogers-Ryan of the Government of Montserrat GIS Centre all showcased the way they have used GIS to meet the needs of each of their locations. This link-up was made possible by SFL’s previous work in each of these places and commitment to facilitating discussion and partnership across territories.

The St Helena GIS Office team and Azra Gordy, Spatial Data Analyst for the MOVE-ON South Atlantic Anchor Project. Image credit: St Helena Government Press Office.

St Helena is an extremely unique place in almost every way and its GIS Office is no exception. Founded in 2006, it is in charge of both desk-based GIS and field surveying work, meaning that in any given day the GIS team have an extremely high variation in the tasks that they do and the topics covered in their work. The GIS Office manages and analyses a wide range of data and publishes a catalogue of the data on its servers in the St Helena Data Portal, the result of another collaboration with SAERI with funding from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC). This data spans topics including the environment, society, and infrastructure, and includes data on the services that St Helena’s natural environment provides for its people. All of this made St Helena Government’s GIS Office the perfect partner for the South Atlantic Anchor Project of MOVE-ON, a wider project seeking to advance the mapping and assessing of ecosystem services in Europe’s overseas. GIS Day was an excellent opportunity to show the work that has been done by the GIS team both longer-term and recently as a direct result of the project, as well as demonstrate the possibilities for the future to the public as well as decision-makers on the island.

The MOVE-ON South Atlantic Anchor Project has received funding from the European Union, under the programme Implementation of the Second Year Pilot Project — Mapping and Assessing the state of Ecosystems and their Services in the outermost Regions and overseas countries and territories: establishing links and pooling resources, MOVE-ON Project (MOVE-ON – From case studies to anchor projects – setting the ground to advance MAES in Europe’s overseas, grant agreement Nº 07.027735/2019/808239/SUB/ENV.D2, www.moveon-project.eu). This project has been funded with support from the European Union represented by European Commission Directorate – General Environment. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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