Information And Communication Technologies (ICTs) And Environmental Conservation: Challenges For Developing Countries
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) offer new ways for communicating and exchanging information and knowledge in various sectors including the environmental sector. The impact of environmental degradation in many developing countries include degrading agricultural lands, shrinking forests, diminishing supplies of clean water, declining fisheries, and the threat of growing social and ecological vulnerability from climate change and loss of biological diversity. ICTs have a potential for improving the accessibility of environmental information, and if appropriately applied, they can empower local people to make informed decisions regarding environmental issues, thus enhancing environmental conservation. However, the challenge is on how to define particular roles that environmental information can play and where ICTs can effectively be applied for environmental conservation. This paper addresses the role of ICTs in environmental conservation. This includes maintaining a delicate balance between the human needs to improve lifestyles and feeling of well-being on one hand, and preserving natural resources and ecosystems on the other hand. It also discusses challenges of using ICTs in improving the accessibility of environmental information in developing countries. Recommendations are also presented for proper integration of ICTs for the enhancement of environmental conservation in the developing world.
University of Dar es Salaam Library Journal Vol. 9 (2) 2007: pp. 20-39