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Scopes and deficits of participatory geographic information systems (PGIS) in municipalities in the central Karoo
Haubold, A.

The practice of participatory geographic information systems (PGIS) is investigated as an instrument to support public decision-making in the case of shale gas mining development in the central Karoo, South Africa. Shale gas mining development affects citizen rights and environmental justice. It is a problem encountered not only in South Africa, but also and especially in the USA, Canada, Germany, Poland and in other countries. Final decisions are made at national level, but the possible negative implications are experienced and born locally. The aim of this research is finding applications of geospatial technologies which lead to (local) community empowerment, participatory decision-making, good governance and in highlighting ways to implement participatory approaches in the management of environmental resources. The findings are based on an empirical study conducted in January 2012 in the study area, consisting of expert interviews and spatial data collection. The use of PGIS is strongly recommended for several reasons which are presented in this article.

Keywords: Participatory geographic information systems; shale gas mining development; Karoo; SWOT analysis.