Guyana celebrated GIS Day on the 18th Nov 2015 under the theme 'Past accomplishments by Guyanese. Present developments in Guyana'. A successful event was held on the Turkeyen campus of the University of Guyana (UG), and was attended by many secondary school students, teachers and curriculum administrators, graduate and undergraduate students, government officials and staff, academics, health professionals and ICT and GIS professionals from the public and private sector. The occasion was marked with an opening address given by Dr. Barbara Reynolds, UG's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs), and a Closing Keynote address by the Hon. Minister of Education Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine.
DVC Dr. Reynolds eloquently framed the event against a great need for countries such as Guyana to use ICT including GIS to accelerate their development, stating that it was imperative to 'harness information to make Guyana grow'. The Hon. Minister of Education Dr. Roopnaraine posited that accurate mapping of areas rich in human and natural resources is not only “metaphorical or abstract priority, but also a very literal one”, and that GIS capacity development is becoming “increasingly critical” in assisting government in moving Guyana towards a guaranteed good life for all its citizens, and in democratic integration, “developmental decision-making has to be decentralised” through processes beginning with local government elections. (Guyana Chronicle 2015-11-21)
The fast-paced event featured six "Lightning" presentations from Conservation International (CI) Guyana on the use of GIS to identify priority areas for conservation in Guyana - a country known for its high biodiversity; the Guyana Central Housing & Planning Authority (CH&PA) on GIS for residential settlement development; the Guyana Telephone & Telegraph Company (GTT) on 3D location analysis of high-risk areas; Guyana Power & Light Inc (GPL) on spatial data collection for electric utilities using mobile devices; the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment (DNRE) on its use of Free & Open Source Software for GIS (FOSS4G) for building an Enterprise GIS; and postgraduate students of the UG School of Earth & Environmental Sciences (SEES) presented an initial look at their project which uses GIS to aid urban fire-risk assessment.
In addition, some 14 posters from 11 organisations or individuals were on display to showcase the use of GIS in Guyana. The posters provided information on the use of GIS in mining operations, housing estates, water, electric and telecommunications utilities, market surveys, protected areas, human rights, a timeline of GIS use in Guyana, FOSS4G, and a use of open data. Though the focus of the event was not 'resilience' per se, this mobilisation of the local GIS community, has sparked fresh grass-roots discussion of GIS, open data and FOSS4G software, and created momentum in the direction of an SDI - which will contribute to and enable resilience.
The event was organised by a team of 6-10 Guyanese GIS professionals and supported by the the Ministry of Education, the University of Guyana's Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor - Planning & Development, Centre for Communication Studies (CCS) and School of Earth & Environmental Sciences (SEES) and the Guyana Telephone & Telegraph Co. Ltd. (GTT).
Report by Guyana Chronicle Critical areas of Guyana still to be mapped – Education Minister | Guyana Chronicle
Guyana GIS Day website http://day.gis.gy
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