International workshop on administering the marine environment – the spatial dimensions

International workshop on administering the marine environment – the spatial dimensions


Dr Abbas Rajabifard
Deputy Director,
Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructures and Land Administration,
Department of Geomatics, The University of Melbourne,
[email protected]

With the support of the Department of Surveying and Mapping, Malaysia, PCGIAP Working Group 3 (Cadastre) ‘WG3’ organised workshop for the discussion on spatial dimensions required for the administration of the marine environment from May 4-7 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in order to facilitate an understanding of the needs of Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) in marine context, have better understanding of the administration of marine rights, restrictions and responsibilities and documentation of issues as a key component of National SDIs.

The workshop reviewed national administration of marine environments of countries in Asia-Pacific region based on a common template to identify issues, similarities and differences in spatial data infrastructures; institutional arrangements; the administration of rights, restrictions and responsibilities; technology and human resource and capacity building in the marine environment. 102 people from 11 countries (Malaysia, Australia, Fiji, India, Cambodia, Indonesia, Kiribati, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Ireland) attended the workshop.

The first day of the workshop included the official opening and presentation of invited reports, papers and country reports. The workshop began with a keynote and welcome address by Prof Ian Williamson, the Chair of PCGIAP-WG3 and the Chair of the workshop.

Dr Abbas Rajabifard, the Research Coordinator of PCGIAP-WG3, reviewed and presented the WG3-workplan and progress in the development of the marine country report template followed by future plans for all countries in Asia-Pacific region to complete the template. Invited reports were presented on the outcomes of related conferences and meetings held during past year, namely the International Conference on Sustainable Development of the Seas of East Asia held in Putrajaya, Malaysia on 8-12th December 2003 and meeting on Marine Cadastre in Fredericton Canada in September 2003 of the University of New Brunswick-International Federation of Surveyors (UNB-FIG).

Papers were also presented by invited experts enabling an understanding of the spatial dimensions of marine environment. This included issues on extending SDI into marine environments; current status and future direction of marine cadastre and marine SDI research; and the importance of the registration of marine interests and the ability of a marine register to become a tool to assist in the management of resources and the administration of interests in these resources.

The workshop continued with the presentation of Country Reports on marine administration activities by participant countries, based on a country report template. Each country identified and reported on the most important issues and challenges affecting their marine activities, which facilitated discussions and the direction of the workshop. Day two of the workshop was allocated to the discussion of three main objectives of the workshop and the development of possible resolutions and recommendations on administering the marine environment.

Fig 1 Defining the spatial dimension