GSS-Based Environmental Planning in Tanzania

GSS-Based Environmental Planning in Tanzania

D. Splettstoesser (University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) and M. Splettstoesser (Marine Action and Conservation, Tanzania)
Copyright: © 1998 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/jgim.1998040103
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Abstract

Environmental planning and natural resource management are frequently neglected in developing countries. It is considered costly and difficult to align with common development priorities and with donor preferences, shows the prevailing development uncertainties, and may demonstrate lacking competence and management capabilities. Moreover, it has seldom, if at all, contributed to implementing and enforcing an integrated conservation policy. This paper describes an attempt by a Tanzanian marine conservation group to break out of the vicious circle - inadequate planning leads to ‘ineffective island’ solutions that may conform to outside preferences but are not coordinated with an overall environmental strategy and may, indeed, worsen environmental problems which, in turn, require more ‘fire-fighting’ efforts. The group initiated a new approach to devising conservation strategies with adequate IT support. It used the facilities of the first Tanzanian ‘Electronic Meeting Room’ at the University of Dar es Salaam, to investigate and demonstrate how group support systems (GSS) can help to make environmental planning more effective and efficient. The authors facilitated the group’s session. They demonstrate that GSS-based environmental planning can deliver high quality results, increase planning effectiveness, efficiency and group productivity, and enforce transparent decisionmaking processes, enabling participatory development, implementation and monitoring of integrated conservation policies.

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