About GAIA GAIA Case Studies Global GIS Agenda 21 Country Data Model Database


  1. Introduction
  2. Purpose and emphasis
  3. Format
  4. Sources of information
  5. Content details
    1. Overview or abstract
    2. Topography
    3. Climate
    4. Socio-economic data
    5. Case study environmental issues and impacts
    6. Additional information
    7. Supporting information (references and glossary)
  6. Time schedule

  • Agenda 21 Key Words listing
  • Available WRI, WB, and FAO indicators and data
  • United Nations Habitats II Database listing
  • Alternative measures to GDP:
    • Human Development Index;
    • Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare;
    • Per Capita Grain Consumption Index

1. Introduction:

The GAIA Case Studies are intended to provide a comprehensive understanding of environmental issues at the regional/local level and to provide a context for policy development and operational programmes. They are intended as didactic examples, both for educational and training purposes, but also as a marketing tool for future applications.

The Case Studies must be provided in a consistent format to facilitate comparison across case studies, both in terms of issues and geographically.

Case Studies should be selected considering:

  1. The relevance and didactic value of the issues addressed; issues selected should be dominant, part of the ongoing political debate, controversial and of economic significance, for the respective region.

  2. The availability of good initial information; please note that the project does not provide fundsing for major (field) data collection execises. It has to rely on more or less readily available data and information.

  3. The potential of the case study to attract attention leading to future spin-off projects: addresseing relevant and important issues, demonstrating the potantial of the methodology, should lead to future, related project activities.

The following paragraphs give guidance on the:

  • purpose and emphasis of these Case Studies
  • case study development strategy
  • format for the presentation
  • sources of information which should inform their preparation
  • content

2. Purpose and emphasis:

The purpose of these case studies are to provide clear and well-documented examples which demonstrate or point to ways of resolving common environmental issues. The linkage of issues across different sections of information within and between case studies and other data sources will be a key feature. The long term aim is to disseminate good practice in the sustainable management of environmental resources. The information in the case studies will also be used as learning or teaching tools and for policy development.
The intended audiences are:

  • Universities and educational establishments
  • Private sector - business, industry, private entreprise (local/national/international)
  • Government institutions
  • Local government and administration
  • NGO's; Associations (local/national/international)

It should not be assumed that users have a high level of background or specialist knowledge. For example, specific terms should be explained (preferrably in a separate, linked file of a Glossary of Terms); abbreviations should always be spelled out the first time they are introduced (like NGO's above ....).

The case study descriptions, identification of key issues and management opportunities must be logically linked.

2a. Development Strategy:

Case studies will be developed in three phases:

  1. an initial WWW/HTML presentation of the material;
  2. a detailed analytical treatment, including simulation models, in a workstation implementation;
  3. final integration of the analytical modeling components in the WWW version through advanced client/server concepts like cgi model interfaces and Java applets.

3. Format:

Mandatory elements:

  1. Title of case study (maximum 5 words)
  2. Location of case study including:
    • longtitude and lattitude; for geo-referencing, either a reference point or a (rectangular) window (defined by its NW and SE corners) are required.
    • study area size (hectares or square kilometres)
    • height above sea level
    • population affected (size).
  3. The Issue(s): Agenda 21 key words (selected from appendix listing)
  4. Keywords for model slection
  5. General summary/abstract
  6. Topography (including identification of natural resources)
  7. Climate
  8. Socio-economic data
  9. Author(s) and editor(s) contact address, last modification date.

Expanded explanation given for each of the above elements in Section 5: Content Details.

The core of the material will necessarily contain variable elements according to case study focus (See Environmental Issues and impacts):

  1. Case study environmental issues and impacts
  2. Additional information: cross references, related examples
  3. Supporting information (references and glossary)

4. Sources of information:

Preparation of the case studies will rely on a number of main sources of information to provide a standard and consistent content:

  • Rio /Agenda for the 21st Century: basic structure, issues, terminology.
  • The Project Gutenberg CIA World Fact Book 95 (URL:http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/95fact/index.html)
  • Global Population Data derived from the United Nations
  • Global (country level) socio-economic and environmental data from the World Resources Institute (WRI) , the World Bank (WB) , and The UN's Food and Agricultural Organisation,
  • United Nations Habitat II Database
  • CIESIN's Social Process Diagram
Other national and regional specific sources should be researched eg:
  • National data such as government statistics
  • Government and regional studies
  • University libraries and research institutes
  • NGOs survey and study information

The authors will be expected to draw on their own work and contacts for the literature review prior to drafting the content for each case study. Literature references should be appended to the material, as well as any meta data that may be necessary for the interpretation of the material presented.

5. Content details:

In following the format indicated above the case studies will need to provide a consistent range of information. The paragraphs below summarise the content which is to be covered in each section and the range of information which should be drawn on in each case.

Mandatory information:

  1. (5.1) Overview or abstract - This should briefly describe:
    • The resources to be conserved/managed
    • The key constraints or issues to achieving sustainable management
    • How these issues should or are being tackled through improved understanding, planning and active management.
    • The cost of any measures and likely timescales for action could be given if available.
    Estimated length of text for this section - minimum 50 maximum 250 words.

  1. (5.2) Topography - Include listings or tabulated data or brief descriptions of the basic and most relevant information for this section, depending on the subject of the case study eg
    • Agricultral - (including cropping patterns; farm buildings...)
    • Residential - (scale of housing areas; types of properties & mix...)
    • Industrial - (types; location; scale...)
    • Vegetation - (relative surface area of green spaces; location and extent of woodlands; heathland ...; main species; general pattern and diversity...)
    • Waterways - (location and size of rivers; ponds; lakes; reservoirs; estuaries...)
    • Infrastructure - (roads; rail; airports; public transport network cover;...)
    • Relevant maps, graphs, tables

    The identification of natural resources should be qualified with assessments, where possible, of their potential for sustainable management and development.

    Number of words: 100-250

  1. (5.3) Climate - Include listings or tabulated data or brief descriptions of the basic and most relevant information for this section, depending on the subject of the case study eg
    • External Air Temperature (degrees C) - (monthly distribution, January to December; average daily maximum and mean daily maximum)
    • Wind Speed - (monthly distribution, January to December)
    • Relative Humidity (percentage) - monthly distribution, January to December
    • Total Daylight (Hours per year)
    • Solar Radiation (MJ/m squared) - (monthly distribution, January to December; subdivided into Beam, diffuse and total components)
    • Rainfall (mm) (monthly distribution, January to December)
    • Relevant maps, graphs, tables
    Number of words: 100-250
  2. (5.4) Socio-economic trends - Include listings or tabulated data or brief descriptions of the basic and most relevant information for this section, depending on the subject of the case study eg.
    • Population size
    • Population Distribution and Projections
    • Age Structure
    • Ethnic Mix
    • Number of Households
    • Percentage of One Person Households (is this a real phenomenon in developing countries ???)
    • Percentage of single parent families
    • Average Household Size
    • Residential Density (units per hectare)
    • Number of Square Metres of Living Space per Inhabitant
    • Percentage of Population Living in Substandard Dwellings
    • Estimated Number of Homeless Peoples
    Economic characteristics:
    • Number of Jobs
    • Unemployment Rate
    • Employment by Industry/Sector
    • Car Ownership per person
    • Percentage of families below the national poverty line
    • Illiteracy Rate
    • Economic Growth Rate
    • Per Capita Income
    • Relevant graph, tables

    In the context of Agenda 21 reporting trends in development and changes in cultural influences is important.
    Number of words: 100-250

  3. Case Study specific environmental issues
    Water resources management:
    • Aggregate freshwater resources
    • Water abstraction and uses
    • Length of river corridors
    • Quantity of drinking water used per inhabitant per day
    • Microbiology quality of the Water Supply
    • Chemical Quality of the Water Supply
    • Percentage of Water Pollutants removed from Total Sewage Produced
    • Tonnes of sewage discharged untreated or incinerated
    Natural Habitat and Land Quality:
    • Carbon Dioxide Fixing/Afforestation (number of trees)
    • Number of characteristic and rare species and priority corridors
    • Length of wildlife corridors
    • Area of protected sites of nature conservation importance
    • Areas of nature conservation deficiency
    • Loss of agricultural land by grade
    • Area of contaminated land
    • Use of open space for social and cultural events
    • Breaches of pollution regulations (number of prosecutions and enforcement)
    • Number of reported pollution incidents (total and "serious"")
    • Expenditure on pollution control/prevention technology
    • Air Pollutant levels (Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxides, Oxides of Sulphur, Particulates)
    Coastal Zone Development:
    To be added
  4. Additional information:
    • Contents could also include:
    • Opportunities for sustainable development/natural resource management
    • Proven and potential solutions to the issues identified
    • Recommendations and priorities for action
  5. Supporting information
    References, glossary, information sources, methods used, etc.

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