Building a knowledge base




"Κnowledge is power" is a quote attributed to sir Francis Bacon before 1600. For Ecosustain i.e. “Ecological sustainable Governance of Mediterranean  protected Areas via improved Scientific, Technical and Managerial Knowledge Base” this saying goes beyond the obvious. Rapid environmental changes and urgent calls for sustainable management practices mean the best knowledge possible is needed to inform decisions, policies, and practices to protect biodiversity and sustainably manage vulnerable natural resources. Reed et al. (2013) define knowledge management as the “process of generating, storing and circulating new knowledge and identifying, bringing together and applying existing knowledge to achieve a specific objective”.

Knowledge of all possible connections between human, water and biota, pressures, stressors and possible threats in water management can be perceived as synonym for best management. Having a complete knowledge base extending on all aforementioned areas is fundamental for minimizing mistakes in strategic plan design. It is of primer importance since usually policy makers, managers, and stakeholders often rely on experiential, tacit, and informal knowledge rather than scientific knowledge in formulating their opinions and in their decision making (Nguyen et al., 2017). Protected area management effectiveness is described within IUCN best practice as comprising six elements within the management cycle: context, planning, inputs, processes, outputs and outcomes (Hockings et al., 2006; Hermoso et al., 2015). The way to obtain this kind of knowledge is the proper monitoring program. The main objective of EcoSUSTAIN project is to improve monitoring, management and networking of protected areas and Nature Parks in order to build a complete knowledge base.

The objective of the monitoring is to assist decision-making concerning the work required to enhance the effectiveness of water policies. A further goal of the monitoring programme is to provide access to knowledge on water and aquatic environments. In EcoSustain, high frequency samples with ICTechnology in automated buoy systems will be subject to processing, supporting restoration measures and then disseminated in broad public, so as to get involved in a more active manner for the greater effort, which is having good water quality in these protected areas. ICT development for water is an opportunity for developing smart water, on-line water solutions. Digital technologies in water can contribute to the resource efficiency. Therefore, the priority for innovation initiatives on developing and deploying advanced ICT solutions in the water sector would fully exploit their role in the protection and sustainable management of water resources and ecosystems. The monitoring programme will be a communication tool, based on standardized techniques, making it easier to understand, compare and use the created knowledge base even for the benefit of other Mediterranean Protected Areas.