Government of Canada

Canada - Participatory Geomatics Network for Coastal Mapping and Monitoring

Community-based Geospatial Approach to Better Understand the Coastal Environments in the Estuary and Gulf of St Lawrence, Québec, Canada

Capacity-building and empowerment using low-cost geomatics equipment, easy-to-use field protocols and semi-automated processing algorithms provide a resilience pathway for coastal communities facing the effects of climate change. This article presents a participative geomatics project with the goal of increasing southern Québec’s coastal communities’ ability to map and monitor changes in their coastal environment. This co-constructed project aims to develop a participatory network of individuals and groups capable of acquiring, processing and interpreting coastal geospatial data of the Estuary and Gulf of St Lawrence (eastern Canada).

The coastal zone is highly dynamic and exposed to multiple processes that are induced by global climate changes and anthropogenic activities. An increasing number of coastal communities are facing challenging conditions and need to adapt land management policies to ensure the sustainable use and protection of the coastal area. In order to take informed decisions about how and where to take action, local actors need to have a good understanding of their territory, at a scale that ‘speaks to them’. The acquisition of precise and up-to-date data is therefore essential to increase resilience to a rapidly changing shoreline.

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