VanuaGIS Will Change The Way We Access Information: Minister Koya
VanuaGIS (Geographic Information System) web portal is something that is going to change the way information is accessed and dramatically boost the quality of Fiji’s strategic planning and decision- making.
It is a platform for the sharing of datasets, the sets of information that various organisations collect and used to keep in paper form but now it can be accessed digitally.
These were the remarks made by the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya
He was speaking at the launching of the VanuaGIS web platform during the 3rd National Geospatial Information Management Annual Conference at Novotel in Lami yesterday.
“Everything we do as a nation and especially at a planning level must be to build our resilience for the next cyclone and those that follow,” Mr Koya said.
“Now all the information can be accessed by authorised users with the click of a button.”
Mr Koya said VanuaGIS was a larger version of the Sugar Cane Industry WebGIS portal that was launched in 2014.
He said the portal had dramatically improved the quality of the data available in the industry.
Mr Koya highlighted apart from the portal being used during natural disasters, VanuaGIS had much more to offer.
“We can get a Fiji Sugar Corporation map of active plantations and overlay it with a map of TLTB leases to tell us which leases are about to expire.
“We can inform the tenants well in advance.
“We can also access data from the Fiji Roads Authority and the Fiji Water Authority on which roads and water pipes need to be fixed in the next two years and get that work done at the same time.”
Benefit to Government
Mr Koya said this was a huge benefit to the Government in improving the ability to plan across a broad front.
He added data sharing had been one of the biggest challenges in Fiji.
“It will enable everyone to see the big picture and respond more effectively and essentially make it easier for all the components of our nation to function better as a team.”
Mr Koya also urged stakeholders to step up their engagement and to use the technology.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Mapping the Disaster”, collating and using Geospatial information to the best possible advantage to help protect the nation and its people.
The VanuaGIS is the first of its kind in Fiji.
VanuaGIS is open to private sector as well as the information collated will be available as a commercial product to private entities that will be able to access the portal with the payment of a fee.